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Spirit worship

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Contents

Chapter 1 – The purpose of Worship

Chapter 2 – Worshipping God in Spirit

Chapter 3 – Worshipping God in Truth

Chapter 4 – Satisfactory and Obnoxious Worship

Chapter 5 – Abortive Worship

Chapter 6 – Only God is worthy of our Worship

Chapter 7 – Worship brings his Glory

Chapter 8 – Worship brings the power of God

Chapter 9 – Preaching in Worship

Chapter 10 – We Must Give Our Best to God

Chapter 11 – Attendance of Worship

Chapter 12 – Our Dress in Worship

Chapter 13 – Singing in worship

Chapter 14 – Prayer

Chapter 1 – The purpose of Worship

Worship is defined as “Showing devotion to a deity” in the advanced English dictionary and Thesaurus. A deity is any supernatural being worshipped as controlling some part of the world or some aspect of life or who is the personification of a force.

Here I will be focusing on worshipping God, the sovereign one. The purpose of our worship is to Glorify, honour, praise, exalt and please God. Our worship must show adoration and loyalty to God for his Grace in providing us with a way to escape the bondage of sin.

In worship we tell God how great he has been, and is to us, elevating his Holy name. “James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” This scripture tells us how we should be when we present ourselves before God, even in Worship, we need to be Humble and Contrite. Verse 10 of the same book says “Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.”

We do not Worship God for all the nice things he has given us, but we Worship him for who he is, and for what he has saved us from. You can’t worship God for the car you just bought because that car may soon take you away from him, and may not benefit him and his Kingdom in anyway.

“John 4:23-24 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the TRUE WORSHIPPERS shall worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth: for the Father seeketh such to Worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him MUST worship in Spirit and Truth.” The scripture doesn’t say anything about Worshipping God the way we want or wish, it shows us the one true way of Worshipping God. Let’s define the word MUST, “Highly recommended, a necessary or essential thing” according to the scripture it clearly states that there is only one acceptable way of Worshipping God, in Spirit and Truth. Not in Spirit or in Truth but in both at once, the word must makes it absolute and shows that God cannot be Worshipped in any other ways.

God seeks true Worshippers to Worship Him, and He identifies them as those who Worship in Spirit and Truth. Worshipping in Spirit means it must be from the heart, and in Truth means it must be done as specified in the bible.

Worshipping God in Spirit and Truth is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly. Since God is the one to be worshipped, only He and Him alone has the right to determine how he should be Worshipped. “Jeremiah 10:23 O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” We are not given the option to direct our own ways in Christianity, we look up to God for guidance and direction in our lives.

“Acts 17:24-25 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is the Lord of Heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is Worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life and breath, and all things;” Worship is the time when we pay deep, sincere, awesome respect, love and fear to the one who created us. God is the one who holds our eternal destiny in His hands.

“Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Our salvation is a very serious matter and will not happen by accident, we must work it out with “Fear and Trembling” and it also depends on whether our worship is pleasing to God or not. Remember there are no corrections after Judgement. Worship should cause us to reflect on the majesty and graciousness of God in Christ, contrasted to our unworthiness. Singing, praying, studying the word, giving and communion are designed by God to bring us closer to him, and for us to think more like Him, thus becoming more like Christ. “James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you…..

Worship does not only honours and magnifies God, but it is also for our own edification and strength. Worship helps us develop a Christ-like character, we become like those whom we admire and worship. When we worship God, we tend to value to value what God values and gradually takes on the characteristics and qualities of God, but never to his level. “Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus: “How do we take on the mind of Christ? “Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” We renew our minds as we study and meditate on the word of God and worship him.

When we worship God we develop traits such as Forgiving, Tenderness, Justice, Righteousness, Purity, Kindness, and Love. All this is preparation for eternal life in Heaven with God and Jesus “Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not things on the earth.

Chapter 2 – Worshipping God in Spirit

Worshipping God in “Spirit” means with reverence, attentiveness, and having the right purpose of honouring God, while understanding what we are doing. “Hebrews 12:28-29 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.”

Worship must glorify God. We need to take time before worship to make ready our hearts and emotions, so we will be in proper frame of mind to worship God in the right Spirit. Our worship must show great astonishment towards God, as our creator, he holds our eternal destiny in his hands, we must strive to please Him. “Psalm 89:7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.

We need not to rush or hurry to worship, we also need to be early enough so that we can tap into the Spirit of worship, and attitude, we need to set our minds attentively and be alert. The Lord’s Supper came with warnings in “1 Corinthians 11:27Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.

Our worship to God must also be done in a worthy manner, in a way that brings glory and honour to God. We need to control our thoughts during worship, we should never wish that the worship session or service would be over, but we should be in a state that we’re disappointed when the worship session or service ends.

In showing reverence and respect to God, we will not be indifferent, inattentiveness, and taking lightly what is serious, worship to God is sanctified, so as our character, it must be sanctified during worship.

“1 Peter 1:15-16 Because it is written, be ye holy, for I am holy. And if ye call the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:” Slouching over, sleeping, playing with babies, squirming, unnecessary talking, passing notes all show no respect in worshipping God. Worship that is not from the heart is vain worship and is useless and unacceptable to God, Jesus said they honour me with their lips but their hearts are far from me .

Chapter 3 – Worshipping God in Truth

Jesus says in John 4:24, God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” We must worship God in truth. Since His word is truth, we must worship Him according to His word. Here the Lord is telling us that everything we do in worship, we must have God’s divine approval. Truth is not arbitrary. Truth for one person is the same as truth for the next. God has not spoken in unclear ways.

God has specified in the Bible the acceptable way He is to be worshipped. He is not to be worshipped according to the evil and vain imaginations and devices of men. Whatever that is not commanded in scripture in our worship to God is forbidden if we are to worship God in truth. God is not obligated to accept our worship just because we offer it to Him. We dare not substitute what we want for what God has commanded if we want to please Him and go to Heaven.

There are many who think it really doesn’t matter what we believe or do in religion, just as long as we are sincere and follow our conscience. But if it doesn’t really matter what you believe, then it doesn’t matter if you even believe at all. This is absurd. This philosophy exalts our conscience above the word of God. This makes our conscience our only guide and ignores what God says in the Bible. This philosophy originated with man and not with God. This is telling God we are going to worship Him the way we choose and we don’t really care what He has to say. Every man then becomes his own authority thereby eliminating the authority of God, the Bible. This attitude must greatly hurt the one who gave His life for us.

Many people want to do what they think best and what seems right to them. We are warned not to do this in Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” According to what God says we can lose our soul by doing what seems right in our own eyes. God’s word is no longer our guide, but it has been replaced with creed books, disciplines, manuals, confessions, etc. Men want to do things their way and as it seems right in their own eyes. Please consider the consequences of being deceived by error. What a pity it will be to stand before the Lord on Judgment Day having been fooled into accepting the unlawful religions of the denominational world. What a terrible fate to believe error to be truth only to be lost for all of eternity.

The philosophy of doing what seems right in our eyes has vastly altered the way people attempt to worship God. They rationalize that God will accept it. People can rationalize away just about anything they want if they work at it hard and long enough, and because of this people worship God in ignorance. Just as the apostle Paul told the Athenians in Acts 17:23 , “Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship.

The average person in religious matters takes many things for granted. He finds religious groups practicing something and he decides what the majority does must be right and acceptable to God.

The Bible says the majority of people are going to be eternally lost. Jesus says in Matthew 7:l3-14, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

So we don’t want to depend on the majority to determine what is right for us and follow them. If we do we will also end up being lost in the eternal fires of Hell. Many people never stop to ask, is it scriptural and is this what God wants? They believe that just any kind of worship they give will be acceptable to God. There are a lot of false teachings today that are being passed off as the truth.

The main reason for all the religious division that we see in the world today is man will not accept God’s word as final authority. Man is going to do it his own way. The Bible contains our only instructions on how to please God so we can go to heaven. God has always told man how He is to be worshipped. God is the only one who has the right to determine how He is to be worshipped.

He will only accept that which is in harmony with His prescribed will. God instructs us how to worship Him acceptably through His word in the Bible.

In Ephesians 5:17 we read, “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

If we are the least bit concerned about where we will spend eternity, it is wise to know what the will of the Lord is so we can do it and be pleasing to Him.

We are accountable for what we believe and practice. Our eternal destiny hangs in the balance of how we treat His truth. In every age God has specified how He is to be worshipped. He says to us in 2 Peter 1:3, “As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us.

God in the New Testament has given to us all things we need to know that pertain to life and godliness so we can worship Him acceptably, in spirit and in truth. God has always made it plain and emphatic that the only worship that is acceptable to Him is only that which is in accordance with His will.

Chapter 4 – Satisfactory and Obnoxious Worship

Before I get deep into details let’s first define the two words used above, for clarity.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Satisfactory – meeting requirements

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p<>{color:#000;}. Obnoxious – causing disapproval or protest

God has shown, in the Bible, His approval with those who follow His will and His displeasure and wrath with those who refuse to worship Him the way He has directed. God has always been clear about how he is to be worshipped, but man has not listened.

An example of acceptable and unacceptable worship in the Old Testament is that of Cain and Abel. Cain and Abel both worshipped God. Abel did as God directed, but Cain tried to worship God the way he saw fit.

We read in Genesis 4:3-5, “And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of 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.”

Why did the Lord have respect for Abel’s offering and why did He reject Cain’s offering? Hebrews 11:4 tells us, “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.” Notice Abel offered his sacrifice “by faith” but Cain did not.

Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” So faith comes by the word of God. Abel offered his sacrifice by faith or according to the word of God. If we worship God by faith, we worship as the word of God directs.

Abel offered the firstborn of his flock “by faith” and it was accepted because his worship was according to the instructions of God. But Cain chose to ignore God’s instructions and sacrificed an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Cain chose to sacrifice to God the way he saw fit.

Cain did not offer his sacrifice according to God’s instructions, so God rejected his sacrifice and worship, since it was not “by faith”. From this example we see our worship must be “by faith”, that is “by the word of God.” We read in Romans 14:23, “For whatever is not from faith is sin.

If our worship is not “by faith”, that is it is not “by the word of God”, then it “is sin”. It will also be rejected just like Cain’s. It is a very serious matter if God rejects our worship. If He does we are going to be lost.

Many people accept from the Bible what they like and reject what they don’t like. They also add other things that they like. This is not Christianity but religious anarchy. We do not have the right to “believe as we please.” We must humbly to submit to all that Jesus says.

Anything taught or practiced by man in the field of religion which does not come from the Bible is false doctrine. One cannot obey God without doing what God says to do, when God says to do it, how God says to do it and for the reason God says to do it. If what we do in worship is not according to the word of God, then it is vain and useless and will cause us to be eternally lost.

Chapter 5 – Abortive Worship

Mark 7:7, “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

When we follow the commandments of men instead of God’s instructions, our worship becomes vain. If our worship is vain, it is empty, hollow, and useless. It will do us no good. If it is vain, it would be as though we had not worshipped God at all and we will be lost. When we worship in the way “we want” then God is dishonoured and insulted. When we worship the way God has told us in His word, God is honoured and glorified.

John 4:24, “God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” To worship in truth is to worship as the word of God directs. Jesus said in John 17:17, “Sanctify them by your truth. Your word is truth.” Since the word of God is truth, when we worship God in truth, we worship Him according to His word. The only way God will accept our worship is to follow His directions in the Bible. Any worship, which is not authorized by God’s word in the Bible, is not in truth and is vain.

Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children” If we don’t know what God says, we are going to be destroyed or lost for our lack of knowledge. It is sad to say but the vast majority of people are illiterate of God’s word. They don’t really know what the Bible says. When we don’t know God’s will then false doctrines will arise which will cause us to be eternally lost.

When people are ignorant of God’s directions on how He is to be worshipped, they wander in spiritual darkness. Our Lord says in Matthew 15:14, “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” We must first have a desire to know the truth of God’s will and then be willing to change when we find we are wrong and are not worshipping according to His truth. Jesus says in John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Only the truth can make us free, otherwise we are still under the bondage of sin.

We may be sincere in our worship, and we must be, but if we do not worship God “in truth”, that is as God directs, then our worship will be vain and unacceptable to God. Also if we try to worship God “in truth” but not “in spirit”, that is not with the proper motive of honouring God and with reverence, then we are just practicing ritualism and our heart is far from it. This type of worship is also vain and unacceptable to God, for Jesus says in Matthew 15:8, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” We must worship God both in spirit and in truth.

Chapter 6 – Only God is worthy of our Worship

Matthew 4:10, “Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shat thou serve .” If we worship God in spirit and in truth, we cannot worship anyone or anything else. Anything we worship, other than God, is an idol. According to Webster, an idol is “an image used as an object or instrument of worship.

God forbids us to make and worship idols. Exodus 20:4-5, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.” We see we are not to make any image whether it is a statue or any likeness of anything in heaven or earth to worship them. But this is done today when people worship icons. People bow down and pray to these statues and painted pictures whether they be the supposed likeness of Mary the mother of Jesus or one of the many other dead people who are called saints. This is in direct disobedience to the command of God.

1 John 5:21, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” When I see people bowing down, burning candles, praying, and worshipping an icon image of a saint, my heart bleeds for them because they are putting their souls in jeopardy of being lost. We are warned in Colossians 2:18, “Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worshipping angels*…..” We can lose our reward in heaven if we worship someone other than God. He is the only one we are to worship because He is a jealous God. God will not allow us to worship anyone else other than Himself.] [[*Revelations 21:8] idolaters shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” We must only worship God and our worship must be in spirit and in truth if we expect to be with Him in heaven when this life is over.

Chapter 7 – Preaching in Worship

When God’s word is preached and taught, God is honoured and glorified. During the preaching of a sermon, the hearers feast on the word of God. 1 Corinthians 1:21, 23 It pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe…but we preach Christ crucified.” The preaching of Christ crucified is pleasing to God, but is foolishness to many people. It is only by this kind of preaching and teaching that man will be saved.

The kind of preaching God wants is not always pleasant to hear, but it is for our own good. 2 Timothy 4:2-4, “Preach the word. Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap to them teachers; and they will turn their ears from hearing the truth.” The kind of preaching God wants must convince, rebuke, and exhort. We must be careful that we do not turn our ears from hearing the truth by having someone preach what sounds good to us, but contradicts what God says in the Bible.

Much of the preaching today does not teach God’s word, but mainly tells stories of humour. There is no Bible doctrine taught that might upset someone, but only things that tickle people’s ears to make them feel good and comfortable in order to keep them coming back. Their souls are starving for the truth. Because of this they will be lost because only the truth can make us free.

In preaching and teaching God’s word, we must never shun to declare all of it. If one does, he will have the blood of lost souls on his hands. Paul told the Ephesian elders, “I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:26-27). There is really no difference in one shunning to teach the whole counsel of God than in one teaching false doctrine. Both will cause people to be lost and the one responsible will be held accountable for his teaching or lack of teaching.

No man has the right to pass off as truth things that contradict the Bible, but many do. All you have to do is look around at all the many different doctrines which are being taught. Do all these differing doctrines come from God’s word? Absolutely not. Jeremiah 5:31, “The prophets prophesy falsely; and my people love to have it so.” Why do people desire to be taught falsely? Because they are not interested in what God has to say. The reason for all the religious division we see in the world today is people will not accept all that God says in the Bible as final authority. They have become their own authority.

John 8:32, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Only by believing and obeying the truth can we be made free from sin. But what is the truth? John 17:17, “Sanctify them by your truth, your word is truth.” The word of God is the only truth that will make us free so we can go to Heaven. The word of men cannot make us free, but will cause us to be lost.

All things preached must come from the word of God. We are told in 1 Peter 4:11, “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.” The pulpits of our land ring out with what speakers personally think and believe. But how do we know whether a preacher is preaching from God’s word or from his own opinion? We must do as the church at Berea did concerning the apostle Paul’s preaching in Acts 17:11, they “searched the scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”

But many men today, as they did in the first century, are preaching a perverted gospel. Galatians 1:6-8, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him that called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even though we or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.” One who preaches a perverted gospel is to be accursed. A perverted gospel will not only cause the one preaching it to be lost but those who are listening to it will also be lost. Matthew 15:14, “And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.” This becomes very serious.

Men try to glorify themselves with other names. Jesus in speaking in a spiritual sense says in Matthew 23:9, “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for one is your Father, He who is in Heaven.” Why do men in seeking to glorify themselves continue to ignore what the Lord says? Why do men want to refer to themselves as Father so and so? They want to receive glory that only belongs to God. King Herod in Acts chapter 12 took glory upon himself which belonged to God and we read in verse 23, “And immediately the angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God, and he was eaten by worms and died.”

Today God does not immediately deal with sin as He did then, but will deal with it in the Judgment. Claiming glory that only belongs to God is a very serious matter. But why do men do it today? Also the classification of “clergy” and “laity” is foreign to the word of God. It is another invention of man. We are warned in Romans 12:3, “Not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think.

Sometimes a preacher is held up on a “pedestal” and idolized. When some preachers leave a congregation, whether he is relieved of his job or whether he leaves because he has a job with another congregation, some people become devastated. It seems their world has fallen in around them. Because of this some will even quit the Lord or go elsewhere. We should never idolize a man. This is wrong. We are to only worship God. Matthew 4:10, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.” God is pleased only when we are fully obedient to His will. When His will and only His will is preached, we then “worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

Chapter 8 – We Must Give Our Best to God

As we worship God, we give Him ourselves. Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethern, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God which is your reasonable service.” Under the Old Testament some of the Jews were not offering their best and were condemned for it. Malachi 1:8, “And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, is it not evil?” Is it not just as evil today when we do not give God our best?

Under the New Testament we do not offer animal sacrifices as the Jews did under the Old Testament; but we give Him our lives in service to Him as a living sacrifice. In doing this we must give Him our all. Anything we do for God must be our very best. Matthew 22:37, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind.” All our heart, soul, and mind, or in other words, our total being must be in our worship.

How do we show our love to God? John 14:21, “He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.” We show our love to God when we keep His commandments. We do not show our love to God if we only keep the commandments we want to keep or if we add some of our own commandments.

Matthew 28:18, before Christ ascended into heaven, He was giving His apostles some last minute instructions concerning those they would baptize. Jesus said, “Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” Everything the Lord has commanded us is to be observed. We are to do all that God says and in the way He says to do it. Luke 6:46, “But why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

In worship we must do all God has commanded and we must not do anything He has not authorized. Our worship must be from the heart with all reverence and sincerity. We must give Him our very best. Then and only then will we be worshipping God “in spirit and in truth”. The purpose and holiness of true worship to God is a precious privilege available only to those who are obedient to the will of God.

Chapter 9 – Attendance of Worship

Worship is a privilege only children of God have. There are many blessings we receive from faithful attendance in worship. God has commanded us to assemble regularly to worship Him in spirit and in truth. Hebrews 10:25-27, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation.” When we forsake the assembly of the church, except for sickness or circumstances beyond our control, we are not only disobeying God, but we are robbing ourselves of all the benefits of worship which would have helped us to grow and become spiritually strong.

By forsaking the assembly, we also endanger our souls because as the above verse says “For if we sin wilfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for our sins.” It is bad enough for anyone to be lost, but to see one of God’s children fall away is a disaster. It is heart-breaking because Christ is our only sacrifice for sin. When people reject their only sacrifice for sin there remains nothing but “a certain fearful expectation of judgment and fiery indignation.”

It will be a sad day for those who fall away because as we continue reading in Hebrews 10:29, “Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” Then verse 31 concludes by saying, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” It will not only be fearful but horrible beyond description when those who were once “sanctified” children of God who have turned their back on the Lord when they find themselves in eternal punishment. The sad part will be they didn’t have to be there, but they became careless and indifferent with their souls.

When people fall away from the Lord, it is usually not a sudden thing. They usually start by forsaking the assembly of Wednesday night Bible study. Then they start missing Sunday evening worship. Next they stop coming to Sunday morning Bible study; and then finally they stop coming to Sunday morning worship. This is the usual path of apostasy for most people who fall away. Oh, some may come back and “visit” several times a year and a few may even attend only the Sunday morning worship with little regularity. These are described in 2 Peter 2:22 as, “A dog turns to his own vomit again, and a sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” Some members have turned to their own vomit and are in the pigpen and can no longer smell the stench.

We are encouraged not to let this happen in Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not loose heart.” But for us to obtain our eternal reward we must be consistent. Revelation 2:10, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Only if we remain faithful are we promised eternal life.

Some people may ask, do I have to attend Sunday night and Wednesday night services? If we really love God and Christ we will never ask such questions. Luke 17:10, “So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, we are unprofitable servants, we have done what was our duty to do.” We can never on our own earn our way into heaven. It is going to take the grace of God for us to get to heaven. Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all like an unclean thing and all our righteousness’s are like filthy rags.” We can never slip into heaven with a “get by” attitude. If we are trying to do as little as we can, I am sorely afraid we will be in for a great surprise on Judgment Day.

It will be too late to make things right then. Our eternal fate is sealed forever when we draw our last breath. Why do people endanger and gamble with their souls? Our soul is worth more than the whole world. Mark 8:36-37, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” The answers to both questions are he gains nothing but loses his soul into eternal punishment, which will be permanent because nothing will be able to get him out. The Lord is trying to give us the greatest warning of our life. We need to listen to what we are being told by our Creator before it is too late.

We should look forward with joy for the opportunity to worship God. When we worship God in spirit and in truth we can know the Lord will be there with us. Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them.” Do we want to miss being with the greatest guest of all, our Lord? We should look forward to attending and worshipping God, otherwise how will we be able to enjoy worshipping God in heaven?

Going to heaven must be the number one priority in our life. Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” I want to “seek first the kingdom of God” by not allowing anything to hinder me from meeting with the saints and the Lord, don’t you? We don’t want to miss the greatest gift God will ever give which is our home in heaven. 2 Peter 1:10, “Therefore, brethern, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure.” We need to ask ourselves, is my calling and election sure? We are told how to make it sure in 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethern, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

Luke 14:16-20, 24 which applies quite well to our attending worship services of God. “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, come for all things are now ready. But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused. Still another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.” Anyone of those invited could have attended the supper if they really wanted to, but they thought other things were more important. In our day of “busy activities” it is easy to allow life’s distractions to “choke out” our serving the Lord.

But notice the conclusion in verse 24, “For I say unto you that none of those men who were invited shall taste My supper.” Are we rejecting the Lord’s invitation of our regular attendance at His worship service in His church? Are we rejecting His invitation of partaking of His supper, “the Lord’s Supper”, and of feasting on His word which provides us with the spiritual food we desperately need? If we reject our Lord’s invitation, He says that none of us “who were invited shall taste my supper.” Please don’t put your soul in jeopardy of being rejected. It just isn’t worth it. This life is so short in comparison to eternity. James 4:14, “For what is your life? It is even as a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” We have got to get it right the first time. There will not be a second chance! We must look forward to every opportunity we have of worshipping God “in spirit and in truth.”

                           Chapter 10 – Our Dress in Worship

Even though worship is not a “dress parade”, many times we become too sloppy, and revealing in the way we dress for worship. Our clothes do contribute to the emphasis we place on worship to God. This does not mean we have to wear fine and expensive clothes. But the way we dress should be in keeping with the dignity of the occasion.

Women are commanded in 1 Timothy 2:9-10, “In like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation…which is proper for women professing godliness with good works.” Modest clothing is the way women who are “professing godliness” dress. Certainly a woman or man whose clothing is not modest is not professing godliness by the way they dress. In this verse “moderation” suggests being restrained and “propriety” suggests conforming to what is proper in the worship of God.

The wearing of lewd and revealing clothing to worship God is unthinkable, but some do it anyway. A woman who wears clothing that exposes herself to men is contributing to their sin of lust. Matthew 5:28, But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” She becomes guilty of contributing to his sin of adultery, so she also becomes guilty. In our actions as well as the clothing we wear, 1 Thessalonians 5:22, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Some think they have to follow the style and fashion of the world, regardless of how short and revealing clothing gets. Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world.” Why? Because this world is going to be lost, and if we conform to this world we will also be lost. We are conforming to this world when we dress immodestly. We are “to keep ourselves unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).

Would we dress in sloppy or revealing clothes if we were attending our parent’s funeral? Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” How should we dress to show respect for someone much greater than our parents, when we appear in the presence of our Lord to remember the death of our Saviour and to honour and worship God? He is the one who made us and who will determine our future in eternity.

When we worship we are actually in the presence of the Lord. He deserves only our very best. Romans 12:1, “That you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God”. Do you actually think God is pleased with us when we wear immodest clothing as we present our bodies a living sacrifice in worship to Him. Are we doing as our Lord said in Matthew 6:33, “seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”? If we are wearing clothing that is immodest, how could we? Our dress should show a moderate opinion of our own value. Our dress should be pure, proper, chaste, and decent. It should not call attention to ourselves, because it is showy, sloppy or lewd.

Chapter 11 – Singing in worship

Singing has a very definite place in worshipping God in spirit and in truth. We glorify God in our singing praises to His name. There are only nine scriptures in the New Testament which specify the kind of music in the worship of the church that God wishes in order for us to worship Him in spirit and in truth. They are as follows:

(1) Matthew 26:30, “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives”;

(2) Acts 16:25, “But at midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God”;

(3) Romans 15:9, “For this reason I will confess you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name”;

(4) 1 Corinthians 14:15, “I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding”;

(5) Ephesians 5:19, “Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord”;

(6) Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord”;

(7) Hebrews 2:12, “In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You”;

(8) 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”;

(9) James 5:13, “Is any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing psalms.”

All without exception specify only singing. Mechanical instruments of music in the worship of the church are not mentioned in the above scriptures or anywhere else in the New Testament because God has not authorized them. Those who do not respect God’s word do not respect God.

God has commanded us to sing. That means each one of us. When people just sit through the song service and never attempt to sing (unless they can’t sing) they are not obeying God. Or when people just sit and listen to a choir sing they are not obeying God’s command to sing. They are not “offering the fruit of our lips”. Can someone else worship for us? I think not. There is no Biblical authority for a choir. Congregational A Capella singing is the only kind of music divinely authorized by the Lord for Christian worship. If we follow only what God has authorized in our singing in worship, then the whole congregation will sing without mechanical instruments of music.

There are two different kinds of music: vocal and instrumental. God has spoken in the New Testament concerning the kind of music we must use if we expect to worship Him in spirit and in truth, and that is singing. Singing is the limit of God’s command. God nowhere in the New Testament authorized mechanical instruments of music to be used in worship of the church. A mechanical instrument of music cannot worship God. Only with our voices can we sing praises to God. God does not wish to be worshipped with a lifeless instrument.

People today may think that it makes no difference if they add mechanical instruments of music in worshipping God. In the Old Testament we have the example of Nadab and Abihu who were presumptuous in their thinking that it made no difference. Leviticus 10:1-2 (NIV) , “Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to His command. So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them and they died before the Lord.”

Leviticus 16:12-13 God commanded, “Then he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from the altar” of burnt offering to burn the incense in the tabernacle. But Nadab and Abihu decided to do it their own way and get the coals of fire somewhere else. They offered unauthorized fire. They died a horrible death because they did something God did not authorize. They were presumptuous. God will not tolerate substitutes for His divine way. God is very particular about the way He wants things done. Just as Nadab and Abihu offered unauthorized fire, is there any excuse for us to offer unauthorized mechanical instrumental music to the Lord?

Presumptuous means, “To take upon oneself without permission or authority, taking too much for granted, showing overconfidence, arrogance.” Being presumptuous as far as God is concerned is a sin. Psalms 19:13, “Keep back your servant from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression.” So we see we can also be guilty of presumptuous sins when we “take upon ourselves without permission or authority” of God and add mechanical instruments of music to our worship. We may not think it will make any difference, but Nadab and Abihu thought the same thing. In speaking of people who are displeasing to God, 2 Peter 2:10, “They are presumptuous, self-willed.

Some may say, “The Bible does not say not to use mechanical instruments of music in worship.” But again are we permitted to be so presumptuous? If so we could add anything else without His authority. The Bible tells us we are to use the bread and the fruit of the vine in commemorating the Lord’s Supper. But the Bible does not say we can’t also use chocolate cake and milk. Of course it doesn’t. It would be absurd if we tried to use it. But it is just as absurd when we try to use the same type of reasoning to justify the use of instrumental music in worship.

When God gives a command to do something, does He have to say, but don’t do this, and don’t do this, etc.? No. When God tells us what He wants done, He expects us to do it that way. God’s commands are both inclusive and exclusive. His commands include everything He specifies and they exclude everything He has not authorized. But trying to confine ourselves to what God has authorized is very important if we expect to please Him and go to heaven.

If we add mechanical instruments of music to the worship of God then we have added to God’s word. In the closing words of the New Testament we are warned not to add to His word. Revelation 22:18, If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book.” We do not have the right to add to God’s word. When God says something in the Bible He means it and He will keep His promises.

In the sixth chapter of Genesis we have the example of Noah who was pleasing to God. Genesis 6:14 we states that Noah was told by God to, “Make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make rooms in the ark and cover it inside and outside with pitch.” In the verses that follow God continues to give Noah the details of construction. Genesis 6:22, “Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did.” God specified the ark was to be built of gopher wood. Did Noah use gopher wood as God had specified? Yes, Noah did “according to all that God commanded him.” Would Noah have obeyed God if he had added pine or oak along with gopher wood? No. He would have disobeyed God by doing something God had not authorized. Do we disobey God when we add mechanical instruments of music, which God has not authorized to our worship to Him? Yes we do.

The use of mechanical instruments of music in worship does make a difference, because God has never permitted man to devise the plan or means for his worship of God. This is very serious, because we will lose our souls through presumptuous sins just as Nadab and Abihu lost their lives through their presumptuous sins. Judgment Day will be too late to find out that we were wrong to use unauthorized mechanical instruments of music to worship God.

Ephesians 5:19, “Speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching, and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Here we see in our singing, we are to speak, teach, and admonish one another. This is what God expects us to do when we sing.

But can a mechanical instrument of music speak, teach, or admonish as God wishes us to do when we sing? Of course it cannot. A mechanical instrument of music cannot accomplish anything God has commanded when we sing to Him in worship. Here we see that when we sing, we are “to sing with grace in your hearts” and “make melody in your heart.” The melody God wants is to come from the human heart and not from lifeless mechanical musical instruments. The mechanical instrument does not have a heart from which it can worship God.

1 Corinthians 14:15, “I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the understanding also.” Not only does an instrument not have a heart, but it also does not have a spirit with which to understand. Then why use it? It is only because people like it.

It is sad to say but people are more interested in pleasing themselves, than pleasing God. They are not using the instrument to please God, because God has not authorized its use in worship to Him. God has only told us to sing. People like the sound of a piano, organ, or a band. They like to be entertained. This is what they want. They don’t really care what God has authorized. People are on very dangerous ground when they take this attitude. Please respect what God wants and has authorized in His word, because this is the only way we will be able to please Him and go to Heaven.

2 John 9, “Whosoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God.” To go beyond the doctrine of Christ is to do that for which we have no authority. We cannot practice instrumental music by the authority of Christ, because Christ has nowhere authorized it, and because of this we will not have God.

Some people say “I like instrumental music in worship.” If this is the case then what “I like” becomes the authority and not God. When man becomes his own authority then each worshipper can introduce anything he likes with no regard to what God has said. It becomes: “I like it, I want it, and I am going to have it.” Their feelings take precedence over everything else. What God says becomes meaningless when we allow our emotions and feelings to become our guide. Many people seem to think they are wiser than God and believe that instrumental music is more pleasing to God because it seems to be more pleasing to them. Proverbs 28:26, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool.” The Bible is our only authority in matters of religion; not our opinions, emotions, conscience, or human feelings.

Colossians 3:16-17 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” In verse 16 we are told to sing. In the very next verse we are told, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Notice it says to “do all”. Everything we do in religion is to be done in the name of the Lord Jesus. To “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” means that we must do everything by His authority. We can certainly sing by the authority of the Lord. But where would we go in the New Testament for authority for instrumental music in the worship of the church? It just isn’t there.

Romans 10:17, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” So we see that faith comes from the word of God. Romans 14:23, “For whatever is not from faith is sin.” Therefore if we believe and practice something religiously that is not authorized by the Bible it is sin. Worshipping in a manner not authorized in God’s word is sinful. Worshipping God with the mechanical instrument of music is not authorized in the Bible so it is sinful. But do people really care?

Since Christ never authorized mechanical instruments of music in the New Testament to be used in worship of the church, we might ask, when did man “take it upon himself” to start using them in trying to worship God? It is a historical fact according to early church history, no mechanical instruments of music were ever used in church worship until about the year 670 A.D. At this time the church at Rome introduced an organ which produced such disturbances that it was removed. It was not until about 775 A.D. that it was introduced again, but this time it was kept, even with many people objecting. The instrument was not accepted by many churches for many years.

Even in the 13th century Thomas Aquinas, a noted Catholic scholar, wrote against its use. This showed that even by the 13th century the instrument had not gained full acceptance. Men wanted to have it their way with no regard to what God had specified. This was a departure from the faith and practice of what God has authorized. Those who have respect for the word of God should wonder why the use of mechanical instruments of music was totally unknown in the worship of the church for the first six hundred years after the New Testament was written.

The word “A Capella” means singing without instrumental accompaniment. It actually means, “As done in the chapel.” For the first 600 years of the church “as done in the chapel” meant singing in worship of the church without instrumental accompaniment. This is the way the early church worshipped. Why shouldn’t we also worship this way?

When people can find no authority for the use of the mechanical instrument of music in the New Testament, they try to go to the Old Testament for their justification. But we are no longer under the Old Testament. The Old Testament is still of great benefit for us today, because without it the New Testament would be difficult to understand. Romans 15:4 states, “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” But we do not go to the Old Testament for instructions of how to be justified and to worship God. If we did we would be worshipping in the temple in Jerusalem, burning daily animal sacrifices, and the many other requirements of the Old Law.

Our Lord has made the Old Testament obsolete. Hebrews 8:13, “A new covenant, He has made the first old.” He has taken it away as we see in Hebrews 10:9, “He takes away the first that He may establish the second.” In the Old Testament’s place Christ has replaced it with the New Testament as we continue to read in Hebrews 9:15-16, “And for this cause He is the Mediator of the New Testament…For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.” Christ’s will, the New Testament, is now in effect.

We are no longer under the Old Testament because in Colossians 2:14 concerning the Old Testament we read that Jesus, “has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” Romans 7:6, “But now we have been delivered from the law.” And then in Galatians 3:24-25, “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith is come, we are no longer under a tutor.” In speaking of the Old Testament, Galatians 5:4, “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” Here God is telling us we will fall from grace if we try to justify what we do by the Old Testament. Unless we want to fall from God’s grace let’s not use the Old Testament to try to justify the use of mechanical instruments of music in our worship to God.

Singing in worship to God is for the purpose of honouring God and teaching one another. Singing is what pleases God. Singing without the instrument of music shows our respect of God and what He says in His word when He specifies our heart as the instrument where the melody is to be made. If we love and respect God we will do everything He says and in the way He says to do it. We will not change, substitute, or add to what He says. We must only sing if we want to worship God “in spirit and in truth.”

Chapter 12 – Prayer

In prayer we show our total dependence on God who created all things and us and by whom all things continue to exist. In prayer we give praise, honour, glory and reverence to His name for His greatness and goodness. We recognize Him as the source of all blessings. It is also the outpouring of our hearts desire. Romans 10:1 Brethern, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel, is that they might be saved.” Our prayer must come from our heart.

Prayer to God is only reserved for those who are obedient children of God. John 9:31, “Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.” There are people whose prayer God will not hear. Isaiah 59:2, “But you iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.” To allow anything to separate us from the fellowship of God, so that He will not hear our prayers is a very serious matter. It is a sad situation for those who try to pray to God if God will not hear them. But it is their own fault, because they are not obedient to God. They could be obedient if they wanted to be.

Proverbs 28:9; “One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” God looks with disgust at the prayer of one who is not faithfully following His will. What a pitiful situation it is for us when our prayers become disgusting to God. Could anything be more hopeless? 1 Peter 3:12, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” The Lord desires to hear the prayers of His faithful children and His eyes are watching out for them. What a great and wonderful blessing this is.

When we pray to God, we must be humble and not self-righteous. Our Lord gave a parable which illustrates this requirement very well. Luke 18:9-14, “Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank you that I am not like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess. And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” The attitude we have when we approach God in prayer and other worship is very important.

If we approach God with an attitude of showing great pride and arrogance in ourselves, but contempt and scorn for others, then God will despise this kind of prayer. Our prayers must be like the attitude of the tax collector. From what our Lord is trying to teach us here, when we approach our Creator in prayer we must be humble, not proud or self-assertive, but modest, unpretentious and our prayer must be from the heart. 1 Corinthians 14:15, “I will pray with the spirit and I will also pray with the understanding.

Our prayers should not be flowery and to impress other people, because God will not be impressed with such. Matthew 6:5, 7, “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Assuredly, I say they have their reward. And when you pray do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.” The only reward someone who prays a prayer like this receives is the recognition he receives from men because God will not heed his prayer. We are also warned not to use vain repetitions, such as repeating something over and over. This type of prayer makes us a hypocrite because it is pretentious.

Our prayers must be asked in faith. Concerning our prayers James 1:6-7 states, “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.” We must have faith in God and if we are faithful and obedient to Him then He will hear and answer our prayers, otherwise we will receive nothing. Mark 11:24, “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” So we must have faith if we expect God to answer our prayers.

Since Jesus is our advocate or go between with God, John 14:13, “And whatever you ask in my name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” Our requests to God must be in the name of or by the authority of Christ.

Another requirement of God answering our prayers is we must be forgiving of others. Mark 11:25-26, “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him that your Father in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.” How important it is to be forgiving of others? Could the Lord be any clearer as to what will happen to us if we are not forgiving? The Lord will not forgive us. We will be eternally lost. Isaiah 59:2, states that it is our sins that “separate us” from God, so we cannot go to heaven. We must develop a forgiving attitude toward all people so that God will be forgiving of us so we can go to Heaven.

How we treat others can also affect the way God hears our prayers. 1 Peter 3:7, “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honour to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.” Our prayers can be hindered by the way we treat our wife, husband, children, relatives, friends, acquaintances, or strangers.

We must pray regularly and not just when we are in trouble and need God. 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” James 5:16, “The fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” If we expect our prayer to be effective, it must be fervent and we must be righteous. In our prayers we must, with all earnest, show great feeling and intense devotion to God.

The things we ask must be in accordance with God’s will. 1 John 5:14, “If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” Our requests to God must not contradict His will but must be in agreement with it. We should not ask for anything contrary to His will or for selfish things on our part. Our prayers must be “in spirit and in truth” if they are to be heard by God.

 


Spirit worship

Explaining worship in details and what it truly means to worship God in the one way the he wants us to worship him, which is in Spirit and in Truth. How we ought to dress and pray in worship.

  • ISBN: 9781370481866
  • Author: August Bhila VIII
  • Published: 2017-09-08 00:35:11
  • Words: 11537
Spirit worship Spirit worship