ARIse To Worship Worship Defined – September 2013

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Naked Worship
Marvin Taylor: ARI Shepherd

The title of our 2013 Gathering, “ARIse to Worship” reminds me of Bereishis/ Genesis 2:24-25. There, it says, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh (echad). And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

When a man comes together with his wife, he must remove all clothing to be one with her as it is written, “They shall be one flesh.” Adam and Eve became one flesh (echad) and YHVH blessed them. They were told to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it, and YHVH empowered them with dominion. We were also created in the YHVH’s image and instructed to bear fruit, not just physically but spiritually as well. In a similar manner, spiritually, we, the body of Messiah, become echad as we arise to worship YHVH. As Adam cleaved to Eve and became one flesh, it can be said that we are echad and become of one accord as on Shavuot (Acts 5:12). For, there is a spiritual joining that unifies us in worship (am echad) when we glorify our Heavenly Father.

Worship transforms us. There is a marked change in the atmosphere as we enter into worship. Let’s face it, life today is difficult. For those who are weary there are times when we don’t much feel like worship-ing Him. But as we begin to worship, we understand in moments of distress that, “Happy is he that has the G-d of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in YHVH his G-d” (Psalm 146:5). So, “We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our G-d we will set up our banners: The LORD fulfill all thy petitions” (Psalms 20:5).

As we enter into worship, we must lay aside worldly agendas. Shift from selfishness to selflessness. If we place kingdom business ahead of our own, we will be richly blessed of G-d and men. For it is at this point, that we shall receive empowerment from Heaven to subdue and take dominion over works of darkness. “For, where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). “Therefore, let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).

As heirs, we are richly blessed of the Father. Each day we open our eyes to His many blessings. In gratitude we praise and thank Him. As we walk through life, when we are weak, we find strength in Him. It is gratifying to know that my G-d loves me, He guides me, He provides for me, and if a burden is too heavy to carry, I realize I am not alone. If I begin with YHVH all is in order. Everything mentioned above is worthy of thanksgiving and worship, that and so much more.

We must be prepared to disrobe, to take off everything that serves as garments of the soul. We must bare it all and become naked in the LORD’s presence. This is a manifestation of the unity we share with the Father in our worship as we approach Him without shame. We must remove all thoughts that serve as garments for the soul.

YHVH’s command is for all who have life’s breath to praise Him (Psalms 150:6). All creation worships and gives praise unto YHVH Tsava’ot (The Lord of Hosts) in one way or another. There is a unique divine unity that exists between man’s worship which is given in gratitude to Yah’s Divine Presence and favor. Our expressions of delight can be expressed in many ways: song, dance, shouts of joy in acknow-ledgment of redemption and personal relationship with the Almighty. Birds chirp, rocks cry out, but it is man that has been given a more excellent form of praise. Let’s raise a shout unto the LORD! Halleluyah!

Praise, prayer, and worship are mechanisms which allow us an opportunity to commune and experience His Divine Presence in unity. Our praises are magnified greatly as we come together as a community of Believers. John 12:32, And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto myself.

An all-time favorite of mine is Psalms 100, a Psalm of thanks- giving: “Make a joyful noise unto YHVH, all ye lands. Serve YHVH with gladness: Come before His presence with singing. Know ye that YHVH, He is G-d: It is He that has made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise: Give thanks unto Him, and bless His name. For YHVH is good; His loving kindness endures for ever, and His faithfulness unto all generations.”

 

Worship and Crushed Grain
Will Spires, B’Midbar Ministries

1 Chronicles 16:29 has become my life verse: “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him; Worship the LORD in holy array.”

King David repeats this idea in Psalm 29:2, “Ascribe to the LORD the
glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in holy array.” in addition, David was said to be a man after God’s heart, and he apparently gained that title through worship. He wrote, “Give unto The LORD, the glory due unto His Name: bring an offering, come before Him and worship The Father, in the beauty of Holiness” (see Psalm 29:2; 96:9; 1 Chronicles 16:29).

How do we give glory due unto the Father’s Name?

Notice that a sacrifice was offered first. Keep in mind that the ancient practice of sacrifice is a symbolic reminder of someone else who has taken our place (Yeshua our Messiah). This particular sacrifice is known as a minchah offering (Strong’s # H4503), which was an offering of a particular type of grain. Leviticus 2:14 says, “If you bring a grain offering of firstfruits to the LORD, offer crushed heads of new grain roasted in the fire.” To be used as an offering, grain had to be crushed and subjected to fire. This type of grain symbolizes a life that is crushed and refined, and subjected to the fire of suffering.

In our crushed state we come before our God as a suitable offering.

We also note that the root of the word, minchah, means “A guided journey to a place of rest” (Jeff Benner, Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible, page 182. [Strong’s # H 1307]).

All of us have to contend and come to grips with our struggles, and in and through them, our Elohim is guiding us into His presence, into that place of worshipful rest.

The Father also tells us to “Come before Him.” This is a command and I believe it is given because fearful sheep lose focus when left to themselves. We regain our focus when we are in His presence.

When we study in detail the Father’s command to “come before Him,” we find that it essentially means, “I’ve created a space for you to enter into My presence, that I may fill you” (Strong’s #H935; Benner’s # 1024, page 62).

When we come into His presence, worship becomes the natural result of our heart, because we are filled with His light, His understanding, and with a knowing that He loves us and Has redeemed us for His glory. Once we have an uplifting worship experience with Him, our desire is to continually enter into worship of our King, our Master, YHVH Yeshua. We want to give the glory that is due unto His Name, which is the Name above all names.

Let us therefore worship Him in the beauty of Holiness.

 

Worship, Wood, Fire, and a Knife
Kelly Ferrari Mills
DoorKeeper Ministries

In Genesis 6:3-6 we read that “Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said to his young men, ‘Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.’ So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together.”

Abraham describes this act with only one word: worship. He doesn’t bring along his praise and worship team – and he doesn’t have a CD from his favorite artist, so that he can worship! There are just two men, wood, fire, and a knife. Yet Abraham calls it “worship.” The act of Abraham and Isaac that day would open the heavens to allow the highest form of worship to come forth: extreme faith and radical obedience!

Yeshua tells us in John 4:23 that the Father desires worship in “Spirit and in Truth.” I believe that is why Yeshua was transfigured into all His radiant kingdom-glory on that mountain-because both Elijah (Spirit) and Moshe (Truth) were with Him (Matthew 17:2-3). It was a vision, an illustration of the complete act of worship that the Father desires, fulfilled in Yeshua, His Son. Elijah, the Spirit-filled prophet represents faith and belief to us, while Moshe represents obedience to the Torah (the Truth). Both faith and obedience are required for us to exhibit the fullness of our worship offered to YHVH.

We are told that in the last days, overcomers will have this kind of pure and complete worship, because they will have both the testimony of Yeshua and obedience to His commands. How I pray with all my heart that I will have this fullness of worship in the times of persecu-tion and darkness just ahead of us. Those will most likely be times when we are not permitted to openly teach the Word or sing songs of praise and worship; those will again be days when the radical faith of two men with wood, fire, and a knife, obeying the instructions of YHVH and having faith in His ability to deliver them, will be the highest form of worship. May we learn how to walk in this type of pure “worship.”

 

Worship and Carrying the Ark
James and Gayle O’Hare
Israel My Delight

In that day I will raise up the fallen Tabernacle of David, and wall up its breaches; I will also raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old” (Amos 9:11).

David had a heart after Yahweh and a desire to serve Him completely. We see David yearning to bring the Ark of Yahweh (His presence, His ways, His Word) back to Jerusalem to the Tabernacle that David prepared for Him. The first time David attempted to do this he put the Ark on a “new cart” (1 Chronicles 13:7).

Aren’t we all like that? We attempt to praise our Creator with music, dance, and our whole being, but because we put the Ark of Yahweh on a “new cart” there is something amiss; the dots do not connect.

After trying out his “new cart,” David then consulted with Yahweh, who said, “No one is to carry the ark of God but the Levites; for the YHVH chose them to carry the ark of God and to minister to Him forever” (1 Chronicles 15:2). Then, when the Ark was properly transported, when they followed YHVH’s instructions, they had a GREAT celebration of praise, worship and dance unto YHVH. Hallelujah!

If we look a little deeper at this example, we see another important lesson concerning this time of worship. It is the fact that they were having a GATHERING of ALL Israel! ALL Israel was united and in one accord, and thus they were RESTORED back to Abba (1 Chronicles 15:3).

This is surely an end time message and we want to be part of it!

We want to participate in the prophecy that tells of the fulfillment of the restoration of The Tabernacle of David! It is an end time message about the Restoration of the WHOLE HOUSE of ISRAEL. It is about all TWELVE tribes coming together and calling on the Name of Yeshua our Messiah. It tells of us being restored with praise, worship and dance, before the Giver of all life.

In meditating on the meaning of worship and why and how we please the Father as we engage in it, one thought kept repeating itself in my head: We are to worship in the Oneness of His Word and Spirit. Our focus is to be on Him, it is to be toward Him, and for Him.

When we begin to do that, the result will be that it will bring the entire family of Israel His into His presence.

Father is the same yesterday, today and forevermore, and we still need to gather in the unity of Spirit and Truth and be One, even as Yeshua prayed to the Father, and, even as Shelomoh paved the way when he obeyed the plan that Yahweh gave to his father David.

Our goal is to hear, O Israel! It is to hear and know that Yahweh our Elohim is One – and that He wants His people to be one! We need to love Him with all our heart, mind, will and strength. And we need to love our neighbor as ourselves.

In 2 Chronicles 5:1,7,11-14 we read, “And all the work that Shelomoh had done for the House of Yahweh was completed. And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of Yahweh to its place, into the Speaking Place of the House, to the Most Set-apart Place of the House, to the Most Set-apart Place, under the wings of the cherubim. And it came to be when the priests came out of the Most Set-apart Place – for all the priests who were present had set themselves apart, there was none to watch by division – and the Lewite singers, all those of Asaph and Henan and Yeduthan, with their sons and their brothers, stood at the east end of the slaughter-place, dressed in white linen, having cymbals and harps and lyres, and with them one hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets. Then it came to be, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking Yahweh, when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets, and with cymbals, and with instruments of song, and giving praise to Yahweh , ‘For He is good, for His loving-commitment is everlasting,’ that the house the House of Yahweh, was filled with a cloud, and the priests were unable to stand and perform the service because of the cloud, for the esteem of Yahweh filled the House of Elohim.

“Then Shelomoh said, ‘Yahweh has said He would dwell in the dark cloud. But I have built You and exalted house, and a place for You to dwell in forever.’ And the sovereign turned around and blessed all the assembly of Yisra’el while all the assembly of Yisra’el stood.”

Worship gives us an opportunity to be in ONE accord with the Set-apart ones, even as Yeshua prayed that we would be in John 17: 19-21: “And for them I set Myself apart, so that they too might be set-apart in truth. And I do not pray for these alone, but also for those believing in Me through their word, so that they all might be one, as You Father, are in Me, and I in You, so that they too might be one in Us, so that the world might believe that You have sent Me.” So let us follow His plan and gather together, set ourselves apart, and worship Him!

Worship and The Awesome One
Angus and Batya Wootten
Alliance of Redeemed Israel

Ken Rank recently posted a comment on his Facebook page that invited his friends to finish his statement, “True Worship is…”

Wanting to hear more opinions, Batya made a similar statement on her page. Many of the responses on both pages had to do with actions, with people doing things that would indicate their worship of God. Ken said of both threads, “There is a single word (or two) that cuts to the root of what shachah [worship] speaks to… but from it, EVERY aspect of our walk before Him has within it a line back to that one word.” John Conrad said, “True worship is reverence and affection expressed in posture. The word in both Hebrew and Greek has to do with bowing or prostrating oneself. True worship can only occur in the presence of the one worshiped.”

Angus added, “Worship is like a date night. We can do all of the right things, but if our focus in not on the one we love, they will not feel they are being cherished. In worship, we must focus on our God and His attributes, and not on what we are doing to please Him.”

Batya’s comment was, “I think we ‘worship’ anytime we encounter and are in awe of our Creator. When we see His hand in action, because of His goodness, might and power, etc., we are made to bow low in our heart. It can happen when we study, see Him at work in the life of another, get blessed with an incredible song, etc.”

We suggest the “best” worship has to do with something first happening in us. We see our God in action and we stand in awe of Him. The High Holy Days are known as “Days of Awe” and being in awe of our Awesome God is, in our opinion, the highest form of worship. When you see His awesomeness you tremble, you bow, you worship. Anything that makes our heart bow at His greatness is worship. And herein lies a possible key to understanding “worship” as we know it in our day:

Let us imagine worship as being like a diamond, and we its individual facets. Each of us is unique, and different things can trigger what we will call “personal worship.” For instance, some times I (Batya) get lost in studying Abba’s Word and when He shows me things in it, I am in awe of Him. He fills my cup so full that all I can do is worship Him because of His simplicity, complexity, and greatness. In addition, I have a view of a small pond at my desk, and sometimes the sun rising over it will be so beautiful that it causes me to weep with joy and worship my Creator and His infinite abilities. Many things can fill our hearts and lead us to bow before Him: salvation, the birth or death of loved ones, deliverance from calamities, healing, singing, dancing, a personal encouraging word. The list can go on forever. Personal encounters with the Father polish us and causes us to shine as part of “His diamond.”

Corporate worship in prayer, dance, and song is enhanced by our personal worship experiences, they encourage us in corporate worship, we know of His greatness and want to sing with others about it. Also, having the Ruach HaKodesh sweep over a room and orchestrate our worship is an experience beyond compare. All worship, being in awe of the Holy One and thus bowing, is born of experiences that lead us to acknowledge His Glory and Goodness. Worship is about us “seeing and loving Him” and humbly responding to His greatness.
May He grant us many such experiences.