The Eternality of the Liturgy (Part One)

29 10 2010
Truth Matters Newsletters – October 2010 – Vol. 15 Issue 10 – The Eternality of the Liturgy (Part One) – By Rev. Robert Liichow

Discernment Ministries International

 The Eternality of the Liturgy  (Part One)

 Rev. Bob Liichow

From the inception of the Church one of the directives God’s people have striven to implement (with varying degrees of success) is the following statement by our Lord Jesus:

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24

We know the context of His words, they were made to the Samaritan woman he encountered at the well. Jesus bluntly told this woman that she and her people worshipped what they did not know and what is more, their worship was meaningless because they are not even God’s redeemed people.

 No doubt this woman was somewhat taken aback at our Master’s words. After all, the Samaritans had been worshipping God on Mount Gerizim since the Nation was taken into Babylonian captivity for a long time, and no doubt with all the sincerity they could muster in doing so. However, their worship was unacceptable to God. God considered them as false worshipers. Jesus was also referring to the Jewish religion as practiced in His day. We know this is true because He says “the time is coming and has now come” meaning that now, with His advent people will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Temple Judaism had the format down pat, but had become alienated from the One they worshipped. The Jews had the form of godly worship, but they were just going through the motions when they worshipped, it was not from their heart.

 These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. “Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. Isa. 29:13  

With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Ezekiel 33:31  

You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain: their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ Matthew 15:7-9  

…having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. 2 Timothy 3:5

 Obviously it is very possible to have the divinely revealed format of worship, but not have a genuine spiritual connection to the One being worshipped. This occurs both on a corporate/congregational level as well as in our own individual lives at time.

 According to our Lord worship that is acceptable to God must follow two guidelines. One is that worship must be “in spirit” what does that mean? Is Jesus referring to worship following a charismatic expression? After all, our charismatic brethren are always going on about being in the spirit, etc. No, Jesus was not saying that at all. Spirit here is simply the word pneu/ma (pneu/ma) which is defined in the USB Greek dictionary as referring to:

 Spirit (of God); spirit, inner life, self, disposition, state of mind, spirit, spirit being or power, power (often of evil spirits); life (Mt. 27:50); wind (He. 1:7; perhaps Jn 3:8); breath (2 Th 2.8); ghost, apparition (Lk 24:37,39).

 Jesus in this case is referring to the human spirit, the heart of humanity, our state of mind and indeed our disposition when we come to worship. Are we just going through the motions on Sunday? Are we thinking of the upcoming football game, Sunday supper, the job or are we focused on the Ancient of Days and His goodness?

 Secondly, worship must be “in truth.” Friberg’s Greek Lexicon says the following about the Greek word for truth:

 (1) of what has certainty and validity, opp. truth (EP 4:21); (2) of the real state of affairs, esp. as divinely disclosed  truth (RO 1:18);  (3) of the concept of the Gospel message as being absolute truth  (2TH 2:12);  (4) of true to fact statements, opp. truth, fact (LU 4:25); (5) of what is characterized by love of truth, opp. truthfulness, uprightness, fidelity (1C. 5:8, 13:6);  (6) of reality as opp.  To pretense or mere appearance, opp. truth, sincerity (PH 1:18); idiomatically lit. in truth, i.e. really true, indeed (MT 22:16); lit. according to truth, i.e. rightly (RO 2:2); lit. on truth, i.e. really, actually (AC 4:27).

 In simple words Jesus is saying that valid worship must first come from the heart and secondly it must be done according to divinely disclosed truth. In other words, God must be worshipped in the manner in which He has revealed to His people.

 The question to be asked is this; has God given His people a format of worship that is to be followed? If so, what does it consist of? Has it changed from the Old Testament format to an inauguration of something new with the Advent of Christ? Are we “free” as God’s people to be creative and come up with our own worship formats, as is very common today? These are some of the issues we will be considering in future articles on this topic, so stay tuned! ¨

 Copyright © 2010 Robert S. Liichow





The “Bishop” Eddie Long Saga

25 10 2010
Truth Matters Newsletters – October 2010 – Vol. 15 Issue 10 – The Bishop Eddie Long Saga – By Rev. Robert Liichow

Discernment Ministries International  

The “Bishop” Eddie Long Saga

By: The Grand Pooh-bah 

By Rev. Robert Liichow

 As President Ronald Reagan said “there you go again.” Now Christ’s Body takes another hit as the charges mount against Mr. Long, Bapti-costal pastor of a mega-sized congregation in Georgia, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Four (4) men have charged Mr. Long with sexual misconduct, i.e. the man is charged with committing homosexual acts by taking advantage of his position as pastor to abuse those who are under his care.

 Yes, I know there are other leaders in other expressions of the Church who fall, yet isn’t it astounding how many of them in recent years are charismatic televangelists. The most recent scandals have been revolving around Mr. Benny Hinn who also has been charged with homosexuality in Uganda by local pastors, his wife, Suzanne, divorced him during the time of those charges. Since then tabloids have accused Mr. Hinn of having an affair with televangelist Paula White (also divorced) —personally, this ole Heresy-hunter doubts the tabloids on this one, both of their egos could not fit in the same room, let alone the same bed!

 In our own short span on the planet we have seen the decimation of the ranks of the leading charismatic stars (naturally, television abhors a vacuum and others fill their places quickly). Here is a short list of fallen stars (The names in bold are or were regular guests on T.B.N. or the former P.T.L. network):

Aimee Semple McPherson, 1920s – 40s

Lonnie Frisbee, 1070s – 1980s

Billy James Hargis, early 1970s

Marjoe Gortner, early 1970s

Jim & Tammy Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart, 1986 and 1991

Peter Popoff, 1987

Morris Cerullo, 1990s

Mike Warnke, 1991

Robert Tilton, 1991

W.V. Grant, 1996 and 2003

Bob Moorehead, 1998

Roy Clements, 1999

John Paulk, 2000

Paul Crouch, 2004

Paul Barnes, 2006

Lonnie Latham, 2006

Douglas Goodman, 2004

Kent Hovind, 2006

Ted Haggard, 2006

Gilbert Deya, 2006

Richard Roberts, 2007

Earl Paulk, 2007

Coy Privette, 2007

Thomas Wesley Weeks, lll, 2007

Michael Reid, 2008

Joe Barron, 2008

Todd Bentley, 2008

Tony Alamo, 2008

George Alan Rekers, 2010

Eddie L. Long, 2010  

What translation Are These People & their Followers Reading?

 You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.

1 Thessalonians 2:10 

An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Titus 1:6

 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.  Romans 6:12-13

Do not be overcome by evil, but over come evil with good.   Romans 12:21 

Copyright © 2010 Robert S. Liichow

  





Heartfelt Thanks From My Family

18 10 2010
Truth Matters Newsletters – October 2010 – Vol. 15 Issue 10 – Heartfelt Thanks From My Family – By Rev. Robert Liichow

Discernment Ministries International

 Heartfelt Thanks From My Family 

By Rev. Robert Liichow, Tracy and Dominique

 The outpouring of love and support showered on my family has been simply tremendous! We received so many cards and notes that we simply cannot respond to them all. So please accept this note as our heartfelt thanks for your prayers, patience and support.

 My family flew out to San Diego to my sister’s house and we had a memorial service there for my mother at her church in CA. Then my family loaded up into our newly received Santa Fe SUV and took off across the country, my wife, our daughter, myself and our mother’s ashes. We drove across country to Fort Wayne, IN. where we celebrated another memorial service in her true home church and interment at the Lutheran Gardens cemetery. From there back to Detroit. We received hundreds of emails and regular correspondence. Of course the newsletter, hopefully by the grace of God it will be published on time next month!

 Copyright 2010 Robert S. Liichow