HOW TO WORSHIP GOD: WHAT IS SPIRIT AND WHAT IS TRUTH?
Updated: Aug 13
If you ask a person how to worship god most people will have an idea about what it means…
Because we read the scriptures here, we have to get our meaning from them. We are told to worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24), and I will be giving you the explanation of how this is done.
The immediate thought when we think about worship is praise of some sort. Whether this is bowing in homage to something or singing to celebrate a person or an entity. But in most people’s mind worship is showing respect to a thing.
Before worship starts there needs to be a level of faith, because whether an idol is being worshipped which is visible or a a god which cannot be seen there is a level of expectancy that comes from worship.
The person worshipping will believe what they worship will bring them some type of reward, whether that’s good health, spirit, money or success. This belief requires Faith which scriptures describes as:
11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Within this article I’ll be defining worship and specifically showing the core worships needed to please the Most High. This will include the “works” of the Commandments he requires from us and belief in his son who covers our sins.
Oftentimes in Christianity believers are told that they should worship the Most High, but the explanation of how to do so is vague and up for secret interpretation which the Bible disapproves of (2 Peter 1:20).
2 Peter 1:20
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
Today you will have a blueprint of the Commandments and behaviours that we should all be following to please the Most High.
This article should serve as a a quick guide that you can refer to whenever you want to keep yourself on track in your worship to the the Most High.
Let’s begin with some definitions…
What Is Worship?
When we look at the scriptural use of the word “Worship” in Exodus 34:14 we find the hebrew word:
14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
“Shachah” (Strongs number 7812) And it literally means to “bow down” or “prostrate”,
And also when we find the word worship in Revelation 22:8, We find the Greek word:
8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
“Proskyneō” (Strongs number 4352)
Here it means to prostrate in homage.
What we found in both cases is the word for “worship” means to pay homage and bow to the authority that you believe in, these can be both physically and mentally.
It’s important we understand the basic definition so that we are not guilty of attaching a meaning to the word “worship” that it does not have…
For instance some may equate worship to reverencing the Most High specifically, when the truth is worship can be given to anything a person reveres, fears or has respect for.
Most often people give their worship to Governments and Pastors who in most cases are the false prophets of the world.
So, from this all – we know that worship means to bow or to pay homage to anything and this can be done in the form of prostrating yourself physically to the floor or kneeling. And you can also worship in your Mind by showing respect to something or someone.
What Is Spirit?
Let’s define what “spirit” is when people think about spirit.
The immediate thought is usually a ghost or the invisible, which is true, but in the context that we are using it here we’ll be looking at the scripture definitions to give us a direct understanding.
The scriptures say that we must worship the Most High in “spirit and in truth”, so let’s look at the word spirit in this verse which is the Greek word:
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
“Pneuma” (Strongs number 4151)
The spirit being referenced here can be defined as a “current of air” or “the rational soul of a person”.
In conclusion we can see that the spirit is “a current of air”, which is basically an invisible force, but here when we use it in context of the scripture it’s meaning emphasizes “rational thought”…
Now we know that when we read this verse what is being said is that a person must worship the Most High rationally and truthfully.
It takes away any “private interpretation” where one may say that spirit means having a deep connection with God. Although this sounds harmless this is not what the verse is saying…
A deep connection will only come from rational thoughts not feelings…
This is why the scriptures say to study to show yourself approved unto god, and rightly divide the word of truth, without shame (2 Timothy 2:15).
2 Timothy 2:15
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Now we know that worship means to “bow down” or “show reverence” a thing and to do this in spirit means to do it “rationally with an understanding” we can apply the terms together…
When we apply these two together we need to ensure that it is done the right way truthfully.
An example of worshiping in spirit untruthfully would be to know that we have to worship the Most High, but then to say we can eat whatever we want.
This would show a lack of understanding because the scriptures do not say this, because there is a dietary law that is still in place (Leviticus 11).
Benefits Of Worshipping God In Spirit And Truth
To understand the benefit of worshipping in “spirit and truth” we must look at the scriptures in question because they explain this in a nutshell…
What you will usually find is that only verse 24 is being quoted without the context of the scriptures around it.
Because of this this scripture verse seems to have taken a lot of different meanings from people that are not qualified (also known as false prophets) to interpret it.
First we must look at the context of what is being said to set the stage…
Here the Messiah is speaking to a Samaritan woman who is not a Jew:
9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
You can read that she is from Samaria. She also knew it is not customary for Jews to mix with Samarians or other nationalities.
Now you understand this we can jump to the whole discussion in context in the following verses:
21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
23 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.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
When we read verse 21 the Messiah tells the Samarian woman that there will come a time when Israel will no longer worship in Jerusalem or the mountains.
That time that he spoke of was after his resurrection and became permanent after the temples destruction in 70AD.
The reason why the messiah was saying this is because the Commandments were given to Israel in Jerusalem.
But after the Messiah’s arrival, death and resurrection a change happened, we can read about this in Hebrews 10…
What happened after the change? We can now believe in the Most High without sacrificing animals to atone (cover) for our sins…
This is because the Messiah was sent by the Most High to be an eternal sacrifice and covering, which allows us to worship the Most High in “spirit and truth”…
This is what is meant by worshipping in “spirit and in truth” this is the renewed covenant which was promised:
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
The scriptures above makes it clear that this renewed covenant would be made. A covenant that allows us to believe the Messiah died and resurrected and follow the laws of the Most High by reading the commandments in scriptures. Because the scriptures tell us faith without works (Laws) is dead, which will be explained…
In John 4: 24 we are told that the Most High is a “Spirit” so we must worship him in “spirit and in truth”, This is where the receiving of the Holy Spirit comes in, because it gives us a conscience which points us in the direction of the Most High’s Commandments.
The Messiah explained this when he said he would leave the Comforter which is the Holy Spirit, which would cause us to remember the laws of the Most High…
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
This is how we worship in “spirit and truth”,
It means there is no need for animal sacrifices. We can now worship with a “rational mind”, using the guide of the Holy Spirit (Comforter), which we receive when we believe in the Messiah. This was the purpose of the Messiahs coming and sacrifice.
Once we believe we follow the Most High’s commandments, in “spirit and truth”, because they are the reflection of the Most High, we do not worship using our own feelings, rather we read his commandments, understand our wrongs and repent (change) accordingly.
This is why the Messiah said a time would come when Israel would no longer worship in Jerusalem (John 4:21), it is because the animal sacrifices and offerings were taken away, and the Jerusalem temple was physically destroyed.
The benefits of worshipping in “spirit and truth” means that there is no need to make any physical sacrifices of animals or offerings and we can now worship the Most High wherever we are in the world, through his sons covering and eternal sacrifice.
The sacrifice was a custom that was started by Adam when he first sinned. The Most High just wants sincere obedient worshippers.
The original covenant Israel made was sealed with blood (Exodus 24:4-8) and the renewed covenant through the Messiah has been seal with blood and it’s also an eternal sacrifice for sins (Daniel 9:27).
What Is True Worship?
True worship is easy to understand once we know what worship is. This is defined above so you should know what it means to worship now?
True worship begins when worship is done in “truth”, (Keeping the Most High’s commandments (John 14:15)). Which means that we bow down and worship the Most High the way that he commands us to. This has to be done using the scriptures and Commandments that have been left for us…
Within them are moral laws, dietary laws, celebrations (Feasts, appointed days) and even laws which tell us what we should do to remain spiritually clean. This includes female menstruation (Leviticus 15,24.33) and male ejaculation.
When we believe in the Messiah the Holy Spirit (John 14:26) will guide us accordingly, as explained above.
The Opposite Of Worship: Things God Hates
Before we move on let’s look at some of the things that the Most High hates so we can set the stage and understand what we shouldn’t be doing.
When we read Proverbs 6:16-29 we find 7 things that the Most High hates let’s go through each one :
16 These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Here’s a look at each one below:
A proud look
Person planning evil
A person that loves to see drama
Supporting someone falsely
Deliberately creating rifts between other believers
Now that we know this we should make it our duty to avoid these things to stay in the Most High’s good graces. Although keep in mind there are more commandments and laws we need to adhere to.
It’s of paramount importance that we keep the commandments of the Most High because this is the only thing that shows we love him. The Messiah told us that if we love him we should keep his commandments.
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
These scriptures show clearer that if we love the Messiah we will keep his commandments. And to be clear the Messiah did acknowledge commandments let’s look at what he said to a rich man:
18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Above we see that the rich man was a keep of all the commandments, but he coveted (Exodus 20:17) his riches because when the Messiah told him to go and sell his things and give to the people he went away sad.
Coveting is to desire what is not your and we know as believers everything we have belongs to the Most High. Clearly this man had lived a good material life, but he was unable to give it up for salvation.
Other scriptures also reveal that the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). The issue her was this mans heart not his money.
Faith Without Works
As we’re on the topic of worship it is important to understand that worship is not a thing that we do without understanding…
Hopefully you have gathered this article from the information so far…
Often times you’ll find churches that tell you to worship but they will give you no distinct examples of how you should. This presents the belief that all we need to do is believe, without any form of “works” (Laws, Commandments)…
Unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth and there are a list of “works”, Works is literally another term for “commandments” that we must follow in order to enter the kingdom and gain salvation.
This bad interpretation, is the reason why people break the sabbath day, eat unclean foods and think drinking alcohol is a sin, all of which the law and commandments do not support.
Which is why it important to read the scriptures.
Without faith their can be no worship…
Proof of woks as commandments can be seen throughout the scriptures, especially when judgement is pronounced.
If you haven’t heard of the scripture which says “faith without works is dead”, you should have, but if not you can read about it below:
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
This may be the first time you’ve heard this, but from today going forward it should be kept in mind, especially if you want to achieve salvation, which I’m sure you do?
An interesting part of these scriptures is James 2:19 which says that even Devils know who the Most High is, and tremble…
So the question we need to ask ourselves is, does that mean Devils will go to heaven?
This point serves to clarify that it’s more than feeling like we know who the Most High is, we also need to keep his laws and commandments which are the “works” being spoken of here.
Our faith in this instance is our belief the Messiah is the son of the Most High who died and resurrected to save us from our sins.
This faith amounts to worship, we see proof of this in scripture where we see the Messiah being worshipped:
1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
Here we see some wise men that came to worship the Messiah.
11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.
As a sincere believer faith will be confirmed in your spirit by the Holy Spirit as the scriptures have said (Romans 8:16).
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
This is the definition of faith. It is the evidence of the unseen.
A List Of Works To Properly Worship
Here I’ll be going through a list of some of the works that we should be doing…
I will be summarising some of these laws here so that you can refer to this article whenever you need a reminder of what you need to be doing as a believer.
The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments can be found in Exodus chapter 20 and they are a summary of the things that we should be doing morally to please the Most High.
1 And God spake all these words, saying,
2 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
7 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
13 Thou shalt not kill.
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15 Thou shalt not steal.
16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
One of the commandments you should particularly pay attention to is the fourth commandment which tells us we should keep the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week which is Saturday and not Sunday.
Keeping Sabbath means from sundown on Friday to Sundown on Saturday. During that time we are not to buy and sell or work.
The Dietary Laws
The dietary laws can be found in the Leviticus chapter 11, Deuteronomy 14:1-21 they give us a list of the types of foods we are supposed to eat and what we should not eat.
Appointed Days (Feast days)
The Most High’s feast days will fill the void for the worldly celebrations such as Easter, Christmas and the other worldly celebrations.
The Most High has given us 7 feasts (4 were added which makes 11) to celebrate him on. They can be found in Leviticus 23. You can also get a list here.
Here’s a list of 11 Feast days
These are the 11 days we can celebrate found in the scriptures. Seven are bolded because these were given to us by the Most high Originally, although all of them should be celebrated.
Passover, Leviticus 23:5
Feast Of Unleavened Bread, Leviticus 23:6-8
First Fruits, Leviticus 23:10-16
Day Of Simon, 1 Maccabees 13:51-52
Feast Of Weeks (Pentecost), Leviticus 23:15-16
Feast Of Trumpets, Leviticus 23:24
Day Of Atonement, Leviticus 23:26-32
Feast Of Tabernacles, Leviticus 23:33-36
Hanukkah, John 10:22-23, 1 Maccabees 4:59, 2 Maccabees 1:18
Nicanor, 2 Maccabees 15:36
Purim, Esther 10:4 (Apocrypha, King James 1611)
All of the above appointed days have been fulfilled so as explained no sacrifices are needed. You can get a full explanation here: What Are The Old Testament Feasts Fulfilled In The New Testament?
Unfortunately these laws are constantly overlooked; many Christians believe that we can eat anything and break sabbaths, which is untrue.
The most common delicacy to take off your dietary list is Pork, Pig, Gammon and Swine which are all the same thing.
Other commonly eaten unclean foods are: Rabbits, Mackerel, Duck, Prawns, Oysters, Lobsters, Crab…check out the rest here.
An easy way to remember what seafood is clean, is to only eat things form the sea that have scales and fins, if they don’t they’re unclean…
This rules out much of the so-called seafood that is promoted such as crabs, lobster, prawns, oysters etc as listed above.
Punishment For Disobeying Works
The world tends to trivialize the things that the Most High says are bad by claiming they applied in the past times, or that the Messiah’s death covers everything, providing us with immunity to sin.
The scriptures say otherwise:
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
This is untrue and the scriptures show us that there are punishments for disobeying righteous works (Commands) which we are told to do.
We see punishment for disobeying both the dietary laws and the moral laws…
Before we get to that, Revelation tells us that we will be judged according to our works:
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Above you can clearly see that we are judged according to works, which are the laws, which so many wrongly think are a thing of the past.
Now let’s look at the Judgement for the dietary laws:
15 For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.
16 For by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many.
17 They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord.
18 For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.
We are told that when the Most High sends his son at his second coming he will come with fire and he will destroy those that are eating unclean foods (Isaiah 66:17). And after this he will gather all nations.
Judgement for the moral laws:
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
In Revelation we see a similar thing where those that are immoral, the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars will all be destroyed. These are the breaking of the moral laws which we find in scriptures…
This should prove to any prudent person that the Laws and commandments are still in effect, except the sacrificial law explained in Hebrews 10.
So to conclude, you now have an understanding about what worship is and the works that are required to achieve it.
We know that worship is physically bowing in prayer to the Most High and his son, and the works required are the Commandments which is the “truth”.
All of this is explained by the Messiah when he says that he would leave the comforter for us which is the Holy Spirit, who will bring into remembrance all that he taught (John 14:26).
You can use the list of works here as a reference to follow so that you can now worship the Most High in “spirit” and “truth” where ever you are in the world as the Messiah said true believers would.
To find out more about repentance you can read the following articles below:
Shalom! And share it with somebody that needs it.