If we all say we are worshiping the Creator described in scripture, then aren’t we all worshiping the same God? If we all say that we believe in the Son of that God of the scriptures, does that mean we are all saved?
In John 4:24, Messiah said of His Father, “Yah is spirit, and they that worship Him MUST worship in spirit and in truth.”
Now, Messiah was speaking specifically of the difference between having to worship at a physical temple, because that is where the covenant was located, and those who are Yah’s children having the covenant within them, which was symbolized by the physical covenant in the temple, and represented the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And, since the covenant is IN THEM, they don’t have to go to a physical building to worship.
But, let’s look closely at what He actually said. If the only way to worship Yah is in spirit and in truth, then those who do not worship in spirit and truth are not worshiping Yah. It’s not merely that one is mistaken in what is acceptable as worship (which is defined scripturally as either “labor” or “prostrating oneself”), but worship that is not both in spirit AND in TRUTH is not worship of Him.
And, that brings up a vital distinction. If one is worshiping in error, and that is defined as not worshiping Yah, then who is he actually worshiping? Well, it might seem like a broad stroke, but there is one who is responsible for ALL spiritual error—and, he is the father of lies.
It is Satan who deceives and deludes the hearts and minds of people to keep them from knowledge of the truth, belief, and becoming a child of Yah by receiving the Holy Spirit. To do that, Satan has created myriad religions and denominations, all containing elements of truth in them, but are ultimately filled with error. And, according to Messiah Himself, if one does not worship in truth, he is not worshiping Yah the Father.
Probably Satan’s finest counterfeit, which has deceived literally billions of people, is that which was devised after all the New Testament apostles had died, was codified in the 4th century, and called “the christian religion,” or “christianity.” The reason that it’s likely his best knockoff of the truth is that he uses many elements of the scriptures, but then convinces men that Yah changed—and His Spirit changed, and he deludes them with false interpretations of what the scriptures actually mean.
At his behest (using hatred against a specific group of people, the physical Jews, through whom Messiah came), he fueled a rebellion against the foundations of the faith—the Father’s traditions—and convinced men that the things of the Father are no longer relevant.
In so doing, the actual path to salvation was obscured (because that path is demonstrated repeatedly through the Father’s traditions), and a different path was invented, by perverting the actual meanings of many scriptures. And, if scripture is not interpreted according to the Author’s meanings, then it is not His truth—it’s just physical words.
That false path to salvation became one of man’s decision and man’s control. Satan tells men that all they have to do is claim to be saved, really really mean it, and that means they are sealed by the Spirit (“YOU SHALL NOT SURELY DIE”). It’s what he has been doing since the garden. Satan leads them to believe that, because of their human decision, the Father’s “grace” demands that His Spirit be placed within them.
By eliminating the understanding of how Yah’s covenant is given, why His covenant is given, and at what point His covenant is given, the entire construct became one of man’s authority over the will of the Father.
The argument is made that, by teaching the very path to salvation symbolized for us in the Passover, and in the priestly progression in the tabernacle—the path explained directly in the New Testament about PATIENCE and ENDURANCE to receive the covenant—then, as the argument goes, enduring in belief is falsely claimed to be a “work” of man.
No, it’s actually not a work of man, but a work of the Spirit leading man. It is the “works” that James speaks of. It is the endurance in belief, standing for the truth of Yahoshua’s Gospel, and not shrinking back from it, that results in receiving the covenant. Messiah said, “If you deny Me before men, then I will deny you before My Father.” Confessing Messiah before men (enduring in belief), then, is NOT a work of man, but a work of the Holy Spirit guiding man.
The argument is also made that, since Yah knew all along who would receive salvation, why would anyone then need to endure in belief to receive the covenant? Well, if He knew all along who would receive salvation, why would belief in His Son even be a prerequisite? Wouldn’t He just give salvation to those that He knew would be saved?
The fact is, He knows who will endure in belief—but, enduring in that belief is still the prerequisite to receiving the covenant. He knew who would be saved, but His Son still had to die to redeem His bride. That is how it has always been, and is exactly what scripture teaches. The mountain was not in Egypt. The Holy Spirit had to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, through the wilderness, and to the mountain. Once there, they still had to wait to receive their covenant, which is a physical foreshadow of the bride receiving the spiritual covenant, who is the Holy Spirit.
So, if someone believes in a counterfeit crafted by the evil one, then who is he actually worshiping? If the only worship that is worship of Yah is in TRUTH, then who are those who worship in error actually worshiping?
Those who have the Spirit of truth are called to stand for Yahoshua, and delineate between what is His truth and what is Satan’s error. Those who do not receive the truth, and endure in that truth, are not worshiping the Creator. They are not following the true Messiah. They are not united in the Holy Spirit. They are worshiping a counterfeit, and, by extension, the one who crafted and controls the counterfeit (that’s why Messiah will say to them, “Depart from Me, I never knew you”).
Now, those who are lost in the counterfeit can often be the most sincere people one could ever meet—the nicest, the most caring, the most loving people around. But, if they are on a counterfeit path of belief, and sincerely think that they are saved because of a decision and some lifestyle changes they made, or how they feel about what they’ve conceived in their minds to be “God,” then it behooves those with the truth to make it known that their path will not lead where they think it will.
It is important to understand that Satan masquerades as an angel of light—not as evil, but as things that look good. His counterfeits are the same as he is—they are things that are false, but are made to LOOK like they are truth. That’s why he quoted scripture to Messiah in the wilderness. I mean, who can disagree with scripture, right? Scripture that is misused and misinterpreted is just one of his bevy of weapons.
Unfortunately, most who are deceived by a counterfeit have no interest in discarding the counterfeit to learn the actual truth. And, sadly, there is typically no way to tell a person that his beliefs are false that will make that person feel good. When the apostles stood for Messiah’s truth, they were chased from town to town because they so angered people who did not want to believe what they preached; and ultimately, most of them were killed because of their stand for Messiah’s true Gospel—they were that hated for what they preached.
So, it’s not merely that we use different names for the Father and the Son. It’s not merely that we assemble on a different day of the week, or celebrate different holydays, but that we’re all worshiping the same God. No, it’s that by not dwelling in His truth, one is not worshiping the true God, but a crafty counterfeit of Him. One is not following the true Messiah, but a masterful imitation of Him. One is not united in the Holy Spirit, but in false teachings about Him.
Ezekiel 33:2-6 is clear about the duties of the watchman. The watchman is to sound the alarm, and he does it because he cares about the people he is warning. That is the impetus for the warning, even if some are irritated by it, or have no interest in hearing or heeding it.
In Matthew 3:1-12, we see John the Baptist, whom Messiah said was the greatest to have been born of woman, preaching the truth of Messiah Yahoshua to the most educated, scripturally literate, religious leaders of his day. He preached repentance to them, and called them venomous snakes. Unfortunately, those Pharisees and Sadducees knew the scriptures FAR better than most people do today. How much more dire is the warning now?
Remember those in Matthew 7:21-23. They are SHOCKED that they have no Advocate before the Father at their judgment. They plead with Messiah, claiming to have done wonderful things “in His name” (a name they couldn’t even be bothered to know or understand), and they even claim to have cast out demons. Messiah Yahoshua’s response to them? “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” That should be sobering.
Additionally, those who do not have the Holy Spirit still have a dead spirit, as they have not been raised (spiritually) to new life. So, in addition to not worshiping in truth, it is not possible for them to worship in spirit, for their spirit is dead. Yahoshua said that worship of Yah MUST be both in spirit and in truth. If one is missing either, it is not worship of Yah.
That is why 1 John 4:1 is given in the imperative in the Greek. It is not uncommon for those who are lost in the counterfeit, but who think its false version of salvation has saved them, to know many words of scripture, and distort them to fit the teachings of the counterfeit. The “test” of that verse is the Holy Spirit’s truths. When His actual truths are shared, those folks will usually reveal themselves. The wheat and the tares, young lambs and goats—sometimes it is difficult to discern between them. The Holy Spirit’s truths will do just that.
For more information: Why I Am No Longer a Christian