Worship In Truth Or With Good Intentions? (Strange Fire)

Offering Profane Worship with Good Intentions
(Strange Fire)

Jesus said in John 4:24 that we must worship in spirit and truth.

His followers must then know what truth is in order to worship God in that manner.  In looking at the Old Testament we see book after book of instructions to His people on how this is to be done.    What happened when God’s people offered up worship outside His commands?

Genesis 4:3-7 Cain

And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

Leviticus 10:1-3 Nadab and Abihu

Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them.  So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.  And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke, saying:

‘By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I must be glorified.’”  So Aaron held his peace.

Numbers 20:7-12; 20:23-28 MOSES

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,  “Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.”   So Moses took the rod from before the Lord as He commanded him.

And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?”    Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank.  Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”

And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in Mount Hor by the border of the land of Edom, saying:   “Aaron shall be gathered to his people, for he shall not enter the land which I have given to the children of Israel, because you rebelled against My word at the water of Meribah.  Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up to Mount Hor;  and strip Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son; for Aaron shall be gathered to his people and die there.”  So Moses did just as the Lord commanded, and they went up to Mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation.   Moses stripped Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there on the top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain.

1 Samuel 15:10-25   Saul

Now the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying,  “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.” And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the Lord all night.   So when Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul, it was told Samuel, saying, “Saul went to Carmel, and indeed, he set up a monument for himself; and he has gone on around, passed by, and gone down to Gilgal.”   Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the Lord! I have performed the commandment of the Lord.”   But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?”

 And Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the Lord your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.”

Then Samuel said to Saul, “Be quiet! And I will tell you what the Lord said to me last night.”  And he said to him, “Speak on.”

So Samuel said, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel?  Now the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’  Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the Lord?”

 And Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, and gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.  But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.”

 So Samuel said: Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?  Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.   For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.”

2 Samuel 6:6-7  Uzzah

And when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled.   Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God. 

We are under grace in this period of time but did Jesus say that we can worship God any way we want?  No,  the verses above show us what happens when we go outside God’s commands and worship with ‘good intentions’.

John 4:23-24 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Notice the words ‘true worshipers’ denotes there will be false worshipers.  The bible clearly shows us that to worship in any other way than spirit and truth, is unacceptable to God.

Worshiping in spirit is from the heart.

Mark 12:30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’  This is the first commandment.

How do we love God?

1 John 5:2-3  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.   For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

Deuteronomy 7:7-9  “Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;  and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face. Therefore you shall keep the commandment, the statutes, and the judgments which I command you today, to observe them.

John 14:21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.

Do not be deceived, God knows your heart 
and if you truly love Him.

Revelation 2:23 all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.

Be sure your works are in line with 
His commands and in truth.  What is truth?

John 17:17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

We find truth by the Word of God, the bible.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,  that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

So what does God’s Word say about 
how we are to worship? 

Not with man’s ways and traditions.

Matthew 15:3 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?

Luke 6:46  “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?

Matthew 15:6-9 Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.  Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

But instead we are to worship 
God’s way and within His teachings:

2 Thessalonians 2:15  Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.

Deuteronomy 22  “Therefore you shall be careful to do as the Lord your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.  You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you,

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Jeremiah 10:2   Thus says the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen,

Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

1 Corinthians 6:20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Psalm 89:7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, And to be held in reverence by all those around Him.

1 Peter 1:15-16  but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,  because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.

Hebrews 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

Acts 5:29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.

1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1 Thessalonians 2:12  that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,  nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.

Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Luke 9:23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

Matthew 10:37-38 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.

1 Timothy 2:15  Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Matthew 5:48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 24: 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

Deuteronomy 12:32  Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it.

Deuteronomy 4:2 You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

1 Corinthians 14:26 when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying

The spirit of God does not dwell in 
man-made temples any longer:

Acts 7:48  “However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands

Instead, He dwells within born again believers:

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you

Therefore we are not to go here nor there to worship:

John 4:21:  Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.

Jesus is saying that true worship is not related to location

but to the location of where the Holy Spirit is; 
inside the born again believer.

God has given us the direction and guidance we need  in order to worship Him in spirit and truth so let us believers not waver from it lest we be punished for offering profane fire out of good intentions.

Here are some examples of what people might consider good intentional worship that are outside of God’s Word.  Christ-mass  uses the Lord’s name in vain and if that isn’t enough then look at its pagan origins that have absolutely nothing to do with Christ’s birth because the pagan celebrations were around before He was born.  Add to it the fact that we are to remember His death, not his birth and nowhere in the bible does it tell us to use this pagan day in worship to Him.  We are not to do as the heathens.

It is unbiblical to ‘go to church’ because we are to ‘be the church’.  The temples of man’s hands (modern religious buildings)  are no longer valid and instead we are to be the living temple.  There may be people with good intentions filling the pews but will God accept something that is not in truth?

The rituals and systems found in the modern religious buildings are not based on God’s truth but man-made traditions, lies and re-inventions of the Old Testament ways.   

Worship leaders are not biblical.  They may have good intentions but the bible shows us in the New Testament that music is to be done with a voice and that it is to be done from the heart.  No man can lead a person’s heart, and therefore not lead someone in worship.  It is to be done by each believer with the guiding of the Holy Spirit.

Many people with good intentions try to reach the lost by becoming relevant to the culture in unbiblical ways.  Read again, the Old Testament scriptures above, and what the ends were after their good intentional means.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.

Proverbs 21:2-3 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts.  To do righteousness and justice Is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

1 Corinthians 3:18-20 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Worship of God is a simple, unadulterated sacrifice of our everyday lives, living in obedience through His Word, because we love Him.
(See Romans 12:1-2)

For His glory…