GWEA Monthly Message, July 2019
REVEREND GORDON WILLIAMS
Often we receive inquiries from people who want to find a good place of worship, meaning of course, a good church to go to. Many people travel great distances, even as far as Israel searching for the ideal place of "good worship”. Having traveled to Israel, I've discovered that it's no more "spiritual" than any of the other places in the world.
It is Jesus who redefined where and when real worship took place. If you read His conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well, the scripture mentions that people worshipped away from the expected place of worship. She said, "Our fathers worshipped on this mountain; and you say that in Jerusalem is the place where we ought to worship” (Jn. 4:20). She, like many other Christians today (that come from different church denominations), argue about which church is the best place to go worship. Jesus replied, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father... The hour is coming and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth for such the Father seeks to worship Him. God is Spirit and those who worship Him must do so in Spirit and Truth” (Jn. 4:21, 23). When Jesus answered, it surprised her, and even today His teachings on worship continue to impact and change the lives of those who understand what His acceptable worship really is.
Jesus tells us that worship is no longer defined to one particular place or building; that worship has to do with people themselves. He is saying that the only acceptable worship is in "Spirit and Truth," which can only be fully achieved once a person has received Salvation and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Worship has to do with those who after receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, become equipped with the "signs following” (Mk. 16:17-18); and with those who exercise the "Gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:8-10) and follow the "order of worship” as found in the New Testament (1 Cor. 12 and 14).
Where ever Christians (those who have had received their personal "Day of Pentecost") meet, this is considered a place of worship. A good biblical example of this was at the Gate of Beautiful, where Peter and John met the lame beggar and healed him (Act 3:1-10). The healing place was on the street, and for that time became a place of worship. Sadly then after, Peter and John were arrested and when released they were told "not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus” (Acts 4:18). Jesus tells us, "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them" (Matt. 18:20) which means that worship can take place anywhere and at anytime; it has nothing to do with a church/temple building. Jesus prophesied that the Temple was going to be destroyed once and for all time (Matt. 24:1-2). In 363 AD, an attempt was made to rebuild the temple and prove Jesus’ prophecy false. It ended abruptly when a fire came out of the ground, destroying both the workmen and all their building materials. Jesus foretold how the anti-christ (son of perdition) would be worshipped there on the Temple's ground. And so in 691 AD, His prophecy was fulfilled when the Moslems built their Mosque there. Ever since then, worshipping Jesus in that place has been prevented (2 Thess. 2:3-4).
Paul tells us that God’s "New Temple” has already been built. "Do you not know that you are God’s Temple and that God’s (Holy) Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s Temple, God will destroy him. For God’s Temple you are” (1 Cor. 3:16-17). Paul takes the emphasis away from all places and buildings; he tells us that people, those who have received God's Holy Spirit (through Jesus' Baptism) are the real churches/temples, and they are protected by God (Mk. 16:17-18). I knew a man once who returned home after spending three long years in Israel trying to find God. He came to me by referral and finally found God, or should I say, God found him - in our family room! He got Saved, Baptized with the Holy Spirit, and received healing from a long term disease (Mk. 16:17-18).
The best Place of Worship is any place where spirit-filled Christians gather, such as Peter and Paul who met and healed outside the Temple; and such as Jesus did throughout His ministry, He performed "Signs, Wonders and Miracles" and even in His own home (Mk. 2:1-12). Jesus' worship has been the precedent for our many Holy Spirit-led house churches since the beginning. In the Bible, the most overlooked place of worship occurred not in the Temple as most people would assume, but on the streets of Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost where 3,000 people were Saved, Baptized with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. (Acts 2:1-42)
If you have not received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, I invite you come to one of our house meetings or to contact me for prayer and guidance. If you have a prayer request or praise report, please contact me so we can pray for you!
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