Creflo Dollar - What Is True Worship? - Part 2
True worship. True worship. Let's go to this angle and then I'll get started. True worship is our response to grace. Worship is the response of a man to the initiatives of God in grace. Look at Genesis 12 and 7. It's a response. It's a response to what God has already done. It's a response to his finished works. You got plenty of things to worship God over, a response to what he's already done, a response to his finished works. I thought this was so interesting. Here is Abram in grace. "Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said", watch this, he's doing this and and Abram didn't even deserve it. He says, "I will give this land to your descendants," out of grace. And the Bible says, "And Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the LORD, who had appeared to him".
Wow. He says, "You give me land, I'm going to worship you". That altar is a symbol, that place of worship. When there's an altar built, it's supposed to be some worship that's taking place there, all right? Now, let's go to Genesis 22 and look at this. Genesis 22, verse 5 through 14. This is the first place you see the word worship appear, the first place you see the word worship appear. All right, so here's Abram and his son Isaac, and he says, "'Stay here with the donkey,' Abraham told the servants. 'The boy and I will travel a little farther. We will worship there.'"
So in those days in the Old Testament you had to go to a certain place to worship him, okay? "'We'll worship there, and then we will come right back.' So Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac". Now, go back. Did you see verse 5? He says, "The boy and I are going to go, and we will worship there and then we'll come right back". Now we're getting ready to see exactly what they were going to be doing there because whatever they're doing there is called what? Worship. All right. Verse 6, "So Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac's shoulder, while he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them walked on together, Isaac turned to the father and said, 'Father?' 'Yes, my son?' Abraham replied". He said, the son said, "We have the fire. We have the wood".
You talking about Abraham faith. That boy had to have some faith too, didn't he? "But where is the sheep for the burnt offering"? Look at Abraham. Look at him. He know his God, the same God that said, "You'll have a seed that'll outnumber the stars". "I know my God," because he's been spending time with him. The same God that says, "You're going be father, and look at the number of sand on the seashore". He said, "'God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering,' Abraham answered. And they both walked together". Verse 9, "When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar," uh-oh, we're getting ready to worship, "and he arranged the wood on it". Glory.
That's why it's got to come out of your heart. That's your altar. That's your altar. It's got to come out of here. "And when they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar". Somebody say, "Why did he, oh my God, why did he put his son on the altar"? Now, you got to back up a little bit with the story. He was almost 100 years old, Sarah was 90 something. They didn't do nothing to deserve Isaac. Isaac was a gift of favor received.
You and I got to think for a moment: Is there anything in our life that we hadn't received from him? What is it about anything you got that was independently on you, even the breath you got and the life you got and everything you got? When's the last time you going to put that on the altar? When God delivered you last week, when is that going to go on the altar? When he paid the bill and you didn't have no money for it, when is that going to go on the altar? When you were in a ditch, when is that going on the altar? When you were about to lose your mind depressed and messed up in pandemic stuff, when is that going on the altar? When are you going to go to God and say, "I didn't know if I was going to make it out, but, Lord, I'm out. I got to open my mouth and I got to give you the honor. I got to give you the glory. You're magnificent. Look at what you have done".
Gosh. He does so much for us and we don't put it on the altar. The job, yeah, you might not like it, but you need to put that on the altar because without it, your whole life goes there. And this is what putting his son on, his son, his only son putting on an altar, he laid him on that altar on the top of the wood. Verse 10, "And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice". What he was saying was, "I am never afraid to sacrifice what you gave to me in the first place. I am never going to be afraid to sacrifice what you gave to me in the first place. I dare you try to take it and use it for your own purpose as if you gave yourself that gift, as if you gave yourself that anointing, as if", there's so much in your life that need to be on that altar so you can sacrifice it and not be afraid to go to God and say, "Lord, I'm not afraid to ever give you what you gave me".
"And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. At that moment the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, 'Abraham. Abraham.' 'Yes,' Abraham replied. 'Here am I.' 'Don't lay a hand on the boy,' the angel said. 'Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.'" Thirteen, "And Abraham looked up, saw a ram caught in its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son".
A lot of times when God ask you for stuff, you too afraid to give it up because you think that's the only way you're going to get that, the only, you ain't never, if you give it up, you ain't going to see nothing again. He just want to know where you are. When he ask you to do something, he just want to know where you are. When he ask you to worship him and say no to the flesh and say, "No, I'm going to walk in love". And say, "Yeah, I'm going to walk in forgiveness". And you think, "No, I'm just, I feel bad if I let them, you know, mess with me like that and I just forgive them".
You just don't understand how God is trying to get you to a place of saying, "I take care of you. I will take.. will you worship me? Will you worship me and not be afraid to give to me the, you know, what am I worth to you? Am I worth you doing what I ask you to do? What's my value in your life? Do you value me enough to walk with me, talk with me, spend time with me"? It's a personal relationship. Look at this. "So he took the ram, sanctified it, sacrificed it in burnt offering in a place of his son. Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh, which means the LORD will provide. To this day people still use that name as a proverb: 'On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.'" On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided. Several things here now. Get this story, put it in your head.
Now let's come back up to where we are right now. Here's the vital truth. There's a pattern of worship that is given in the Old Testament that is different from the pattern of worship in the New Testament. Now, you could do what you want to do. Here I go again. You can do what you want to do. You can stay stuck in the old or you can come to the better, but I want to show you why we must not confuse the New Testament worship with the Old Testament worship. Just as I've tried to show the distinction in everything that we do now, we are New Testament Christians and we should be living according to the new covenant of God. We should not be living according to the Old Testament or the old covenant of God.
The Bible is a tale of two covenants, the old and the new, and understanding the difference between these two covenants and knowing how to apply it every day in our lives, it's absolutely, it's crucial. It's something we got to get it. We got to get this. And now what I'm about to show you, it's a little controversial, but, you know, like I said, truth is controversy. Are you ready? So you know that first part was really to check you out, see what you were this morning. Look at Hebrews 8:13. The New Testament is the contract Jesus ratified with his own blood, but make no doubt about it. In Hebrews 8:13 he says, "When God speaks of a new covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and will soon disappear".
Wow. Look at the King James Version of this. This is first base right here or you won't hear anything else I say today. "In that he saith a new covenant, he hath made the first old". He said it's the new covenant. The first one is now old. "Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away". So what I'm about to show you is the difference between the pattern of worship according to the Old Testament versus the pattern of worship according to the New Testament. The New Testament replaces the old. Is that, like, Barney enough for everybody? The New Testament replaces the Old Testament.
Really I've been trying to teach this for, you know, 12 years. Lack of understanding has called some to carry over the Old Testament forms of worship, bringing them into the church. So the Old Testament of worship was outward and body-oriented. The Old Testament worship was outward and body-oriented. They could not worship with their spirits. They could not worship with their spirits in the Old Testament. So the things you read about, including Psalms, it describes worship as outward and body-oriented.
Now, one of Jesus's temptations in the wilderness had to do with this area of worship. Just to move on the side to show you how important it is, go to Matthew 4:8 through 10 standard King James unless I extract otherwise. Matthew 4:8 through 10. This is huge. Verse 8 he says, "Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto him, 'All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and," do what? The devil said, "I'm going to give you all of this. I want you to worship me". All right? "Then saith Jesus unto him, 'Get thee hence, Satan; for it is written thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shall thou serve.'"
That's interesting. The word serve and worship you will find in the New Testament are used interchangeably. Our service time is at 11. Our worship time is at 11. So, you know, they're the same word there. Now, if the devil wants anything from us, if the devil ever wants anything from us, how many of you know that needs to be a red flag? You can see from this account that worship is a big deal. If it's a big deal to God, it should be a big deal to us. So it's easy for you guys to say, "Well, oh, that's no big deal". And I'm saying worship is a big deal. I'm going to show you these things and you're going to be tempted to say, "That's not a big deal". And I'm saying it's gigantic deal. It's big enough for you to do something to change if you're doing it the other way.
So now Jesus worshipped God perfectly. "This is my beloved Son in whom I'm well pleased". Okay, we don't see him doing the stuff we're doing at church, but God said, "I'm well pleased with him". So the Old Testament pattern for worship versus the New Testament pattern. Let's get in it. And I do not confuse the Old Testament worship with the New Testament pattern of worship. They are not the same, and that, like we so famously do, we just kind of plug in a little bit of old, a little bit of new and then we mix it up and wonder why we don't get no presence. And then when the presence doesn't show up, then you get in and try to make something happen and then your mechanics kick in and it just turns all carnal and then people start doing weird stuff and we think it's God.
"Look at God". It ain't even God, and I have to sit by and be quiet because I just know people don't understand. So I look forward to this day to give you understanding 'cause I ain't going to be quit no more. It's just weird stuff. There's a new pattern, a New Testament pattern of worship. I would give you this, I give you some of the scriptures, but I want to run through this. In the New Testament, thanksgiving should be offered. In the New Testament, 2 Corinthians 2:14, thanksgiving should be given to God. Thanksgiving should be given to Christ, 1 Timothy chapter 1. Thanksgiving should be given in the name of Christ, thanksgiving should be given on behalf of God's servant, thanksgiving, the Bible says be thankful in everything, before you receive your food. Thanksgiving, he says thank him always. Thanksgiving for the gift of Christ. Thanksgiving for the power that we run.
Revelation 11 and 17. Thanksgiving for the reception and the effectual working of the Word of God in others. Thanksgiving for victory over death and the grave. Thanksgiving for, you know, I'm so freaking out over people it makes me want to go through the whole Bible. I wish I can just say one of them. You say, "Oh yes, we know that all of the scriptures on thanksgiving in the Bible". Thanksgiving for the grace bestowed on others, 1 Corinthians 1:14. Thanksgiving for the zeal exhibited by others, 2 Corinthians 8:16. Thanksgiving for appointments to spiritual services, thanksgiving for the supply of our bodily needs, thanksgiving for all people, thanksgiving for all things.
These are general references to worship in the New Testament and in the new covenant, but there is one vital difference between the old and the new covenant. The New Testament worship is from the spirit of man. John chapter 4:24. Let's go there. New Testament worship is from the spirit of man. John 4:24. This conversation which will go in detail later on with this woman at the well, he said, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in..."
See, we quote that, but we don't take time to find out what it is. So the pattern in the New Testament is worship in spirit and it'll be truth. So here is the pattern again. The apostle Paul talks about it in Philippians 3 and 3. Philippians 3 and 3, "For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and we rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh". So out of the mouth of two witnesses, John 4:24, Philippians 3:3, New Testament worship is from the spirit of man. Now, there is an Old Testament pattern, but the Old Testament pattern involves worshiping with everything except your spirit. You read in the Old Testament, worship him with the cymbals, worship him with that, worship him with the handclaps, worship him dance, do all of that Old Testament people of God could not worship in the spirit because they were spiritually dead inside.
The pattern of the New Testament, worship him in spirit. The pattern in the Old Testament involves worship with everything except your spirit because you can't worship him in your spirit because you're spiritually dead. Nobody could be born again at that time. They could only worship in the flesh. They could only use their bodies because their spirits were not alive to God. So what does worshiping in the flesh mean in the Old Testament context? It means that the anointing did not come upon them to energize their worship. In other words, they could not tap into their spirits.
Example, 2 Samuel chapter 6:14, King James. When David danced before the ark, the Bible says he danced with his might, not with God's might. He danced with his ability, not with God's ability. Verse 14 says, "And David danced before the LORD with all," what? "His might, and David was girded with a linen ephod". So the worship we see in the Old Testament and the evidence, this is a tough statement here. The worship we see in the Old Testament and the evidence in the book of Psalms was outward, body-oriented worship. They could not worship with their spirits, so they used their bodies instead. Okay, Psalms 150. The psalmist exhorted the people to praise God with their instruments.
Psalms 150, verse 3 through 5. I'm going to read this in the New King James Bible. Somebody says, "Why are you teaching this to us"? We got to get the presence in on our life. It ain't happening if we keep doing it wrong. There's coming a time as all hell continues to break loose you and I are going to be in the presence of the Lord, and in order for it to happen somebody, again, got to be bold enough to stand up and say, "We weren't doing that right". How many of you agree nobody was born again in the Old Testament, nobody had worshiping God in spirit and saying that that's true and then calling true worshipers are those who worship in spirit and in truth.
So if there's true worshipers and true worship, there's got to be some worship today that won't be true if you're doing it the wrong way. Verse 3, "Praise Him with the sound of the trumpets; praise Him with the flute and the harp. Praise Him with the timbrel and the dance. Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes. Praise Him with the loud cymbals. Praise Him with the clashing cymbals". We read that like it's for us today. We never had a clue that that's specifically talking about people who were dead spiritually and could not get saved. What transpired here was the musicians, in Psalms 150, the musicians picked up their instruments and they played in the flesh with no anointing upon them. There are some musicians today that's still playing in the flesh with no anointing upon them.
That's why we got to change it because every musician today can worship God in spirit, praise God, and there can be an anointing that comes on them and they're doing stuff with their instruments that they can't do in the flesh and they stop and say, "I never did that like that before". There are singers who are anointed to sing, singers who are anointed to sing. If you can sing, you can sing. If you can't sing, then you just can't sing. But there's an anointing will come over you and that an anointing... what is the anointing? The anointing removes burdens and destroys yokes. So whatever the burden was is taken care of because if you learn how to worship him in spirit, anytime a burden exists, there'll be an anointing that'll show up and remove the burden.