But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.
Not everyone reacts exactly alike when subjected to identical stimuli. But everyone reacts. We Apostolics do not all worship God in exactly the same manner, but we all worship Him. And while there are differences in our worship that may be attributed to individualism, there is a common thread or common denominator that links all Apostolic worship. Certain features of our worship are distinctive, and when these elements are removed, we have lost our worship. And God will look elsewhere for True Worshipers, while we will have been left with only a powerless ritual—a form of piety (godliness) lacking any true spiritual power.
The early church of the New Testament was noted for its worship. On the day of Pentecost, the unbelieving onlookers scoffed and mocked because of the antics of the crowd in the upper room, even to the point of saying, “These men are full of new wine!” What physical, bodily exertions must have been manifested by these folks (who numbered “around 120”), what loud, joyful noises must have been created by them (“when this was noised abroad”), to have produced such a reaction from the spectators. It is inconceivable that the Holy Ghost, ushered in with a sound from heaven like a mighty rushing wind, and visibly attended by cloven tongues like as of fire, would not have produced a dynamically charged atmosphere that caused all into whom it came (“they were all filled with the Holy Ghost”) to react in a virtual cataclysm of emotion.
A little while later, when the Apostles had been commanded not to preach any more in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, they came together and prayed, and the place where they were gathered was shaken by the mighty power of Almighty God, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost again! True Worshipers have learned to dwell in the secret place of the “Most High,” and are therefore privileged to abide under the shadow of the “Almighty.”
Apostolic worship involves music, singing, shouting, weeping, laughing, speaking in tongues, hand-clapping, lifting up and waving hands, dancing, running, leaping—sometimes even rolling on the floor! True Worship is in spirit and in truth. “Now the Lord is that Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.” And while no one individual is necessarily compelled to participate in each of these activities in every worship service, if the Holy Ghost is present there is liberty to be spiritually activated in any of these manners of worship.
If these channels of worship ever become closed, we are doomed to a staid, ritualistic Methodism that will forever keep us out of the presence of God. For the only way we can come before His presence is with singing; and we can only enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. We must never let dynamic worship die, or the Father will look elsewhere in His quest for True Worshipers.
Rev. Tim D. Cormier
Reprinted from the July, 1999 edition of the Apostolic Standard.
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