John 4:15-24, God is a Spirit: We must worship God in spirit and in truth.

"Mark 16:15 preach the gospel to every creature. Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded: Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega,... 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, ... have right to the tree of life, and... enter ... the city."

 

I am a retired pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.

"John 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Acts 7:48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, 1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."

If you prefer to hear the video clip also simultaneously, please click on this link: "Video #15"

Jesus was called a Prophet

In the last session the Samaritan woman was asking the living water to Jesus Christ. "John 4:15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. 19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet." He told her past. She was amazed, and called him a prophet. But, since he was a prophet, she attacked him on religious side.

Why was worship in Jerusalem and in the mountains?

"Verse 20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." Here, she speaks as if she was an Israeli, but she was an Assyrian. Jesus didn't answer her question, but gave her something else. By the way, let us see why Samaritans worship God in that mountain. When the son of Solomon, Rehoboam failed to please the people of Israel, they called Jeroboam and made him king over them. So, the kingdom Of Israel was split into two, as kingdom of Judah and kingdom of Israel. But, they have one temple and that was in Jerusalem. People of Israel had to Go to Jerusalem to worship. King Jeroboam was afraid that if people from Israel continue to go to Jerusalem to worship, then they may begin to like Judah in the future, and they may rise against him. So, what did he do? "1 Kings 12:28 says, Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." It is the same deception that Aaron, the brother of Moses has done. He made a golden calf and made the people to worship the idol, when Moses went up in the mountain to receive the commandments of God. God was angry and a lot of people were killed. Now Jeroboam did the same thing, and made Israel to sin against God. Then, people of Israel worshipped the golden calves in the mountain, instead of going to Jerusalem. But they claim that they worship the God of Abraham, while worshipping the golden calves. When Assyrians came and settled in Samaria, they were taught the ways of Israel, and they also followed the same thing. People of Judah worshipped God in the temple at Jerusalem. So, this is the reason, why there were two worship places.

God is not present in any Temple (Church) that We built

"John 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father." From Adam to Jesus Christ, God has brought his people in stages of relationship. Jesus was telling the woman that the hour is coming, that is, the next stage of transition was at hand. Jesus declined both worship places, including the temple. the reason is: "Acts 7:48 .. the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; .., 49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me?" So, God declined to accept any building that is built by people as a worship place, even the temple, that include our churches also. God allowed the temple to be broken down in 60 AD, and all Jews to be scattered. I am not telling you to abandon the churches. But, it is good to know that the presence of God is not in churches as the the religious people say. "Acts 17:24 says, God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;" And, "1 Corinthians 3:16 says, Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" So, if the Spirit of God is in us, then, we are the temple of God. We can use churches or any buildings. But we do not need them to worship God.

Next verse. "John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews." The phrase "salvation is of the Jews" appears to be controversial, but in its context, it is not. Samaritans say that they worship the God of Abraham, but they worship the golden calves, which are idols. They do not know what they worship. That is what Jesus said. But, the Jews have the scriptures in the temple, and so they know about God and salvation. There is no controversy.

From Now! True Worshipers Worship God in Spirit and in Truth

The Hour has Come, It is now!

Now the next verse. "23 But the hour cometh, and now is,.." Jesus Christ has said that the hour has come and it is now. That is, an entire new era has begun at that time. The time of Jesus, not only divided the history of the world as BC and AD, but God has changed spiritual things also. "John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not." This verse actually points to the old testament, about creation and the subsequent events. God has created the world and the people in it, but they did not know him, that is, they did not obey him. So, God chose Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who was Israel. Jacob obeyed God and so, God took him as his own. "11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not." Even though Jacob obeyed God, his descendents, Israel did not receive Jesus. "12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:" So, God has rejected Israel, and accepted those who believed on his name, as his people. God gave them power and the Holy Spirit so that they may become his sons. Romans 8:8&9 say, that if we are in the flesh, we cannot please God. But if we are in the Spirit, the Spirit of God dwell in us. If we do not have the Spirit, we do not belong to Christ. This is what the verses say. From the hour or the time of the resurrected Jesus Christ, Israel was no more the chosen of God. God chose them, who are with the holy spirit, as his people.

What is the Truth?

Let us continue 23, ".. the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth:.." We all know the phrase 'in spirit and in truth'. It has become a cliché and every Christian knows it. They all say that they worship God in spirit and in truth. But, they do not know, what spirit is and what truth is. First let us look what truth is. "John 17:17 Jesus says, thy word is truth." So, God's word is truth. What is God's word? Most preachers speak using the name of God, as God is speaking through them. Mostly they want something for them. They are con artists, and it is to rob and plunder believers. That is not the word of God. Then, there are the nice and decent peoples, the theologians and pastors, they interpret the bible in many ways to promote their own doctrine. Neither their interpretations are from God. So, we must take the word of God in its own context, without any interpretation, but with sincere mind and with the intention to do what God tells us to do. Then, God will reveal his word to us, then we will know the truth, and then the truth will make us free from our sins. This is the truth.

What is the Spirit?

Jesus tells us to be born again, that is to born of the spirit. Born again is not to become religious or to become moral. It is not to be baptized with the Holy Ghost either. "Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest (layaway) of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." If we understand the word of God, believe and trust Jesus Christ, God will seal the holy spirit in us. It is a layaway agreement of purchase transaction. It is an advance given to us and we will get the full amount, as inheritance on that day when we will see him. Or, it is an advance given to purchase us, and he will take the full possession of us on that day as his adopted sons. So, on that great day, we will become his sons, and he will become our Father. God gives the holy spirit, as his seal of promise.

Who is God?

In order to worship God, we must know who God is. God is a Spirit. He is the one and only omnipotent Spirit and he created the entire universe. He existed before all beginnings, and he will exist unto the everlasting future. This God is not a power or an energy, but he is a person. He is the only true God. The Lord Jesus Christ fits all these criteria and that is why he is God. If any Jesus, who does not fit these criteria, he is another Jesus. If a Christ, who does not fit this criteria, he is a false Christ. If any god, who does not fit these criteria, he is not God. We can reject any false god by this test. The traditional gods, sentimental gods, ceremonial gods, legend gods, religious gods, and any such god, can be rooted out, if we want them out.

What is worshiping God?

"23 ... the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." We all want to worship God. Billions of us from the world worship some kind of God. But God seeks only the worship of the true worshippers. They have the holy spirit, they are fixed on the truth, and they have the knowledge of the only true God. God tells us to know the truth, to be born again, to be guided by the holy spirit, to communicate with the spirit of God, and to merge or to abide with his Spirit. If we are not ceremonial, religious, entertaining, or superficial, and if we submit ourselves to God to do his will, then the Spirit of God will unite himself with our spirit, give us power and grace, and will be making us his sons. This interaction is known as worship. But, our church worship services are comprised of songs and music, exhortation, bible study, preaching, entertaining, doing social or religious activities, and such. We see them as worshipping God. But these are our religious exhibits, but not worshipping God. If we give adoration to God, receive power and blessing from God; then it is worship. If we truly worship him, we will become his sons, and we will inherit his kingdom as his sons. So, let us worship God.

God Bless You

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