“Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 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 him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:22–24)
Truth is essential for all acceptable worship. God said is the basis of the Truth that must direct all acceptable worship (John 17:17). If one cannot know God without revelation (and he cannot), then it also follows that one cannot worship God acceptably without the Truth that comes by revelation. The Samaritans worshiped God, but it was not acceptable, because it was based on partial revelation. One’s worship must be spiritual, from man’s own spirit, and it must be as the Truth of the Gospel directs. God said is the basis of all acceptable worship. Some brethren today need to reconsider this fundamental Truth. This will stop some of the foolish and hurtful things that are taking place in worship today.
The Basis of All Acceptable Religious Experience
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3)
Jude speaks of “contending for the faith”—that is, objective faith,written revelation, upon which one’s faith must rest. Any “religious experience” not based upon what God has said is false. One’s religious experience must be tested by what “God said,” not by what one thinks God says through a religious experience. Testing what God says by one’s religious experience today is the basis of false religion. Abraham had a religious experience, but it was based upon what “God said” (Genesis 22:1–13). Salvation is a religious experience, but it must be based upon what “God said.” Worship is a religious experience, but it must be based upon what “God said” (Acts 17). The Athenians were having a religious experience, but it was not acceptable unto God, because it was not based upon revelation. One can find people gathered everywhere in worship going through some kind of experience, but this does not mean that that experience is acceptable to God. Every religious experience one has must be in harmony with what the Bible teaches and must rest upon what “God said.”
When one has some kind of experience unknown to the Bible, that experience is false and deceptive and not accepted by God. It is time for men to turn back to the Bible and to find out what it teaches and then act upon it. The action then will be an experience, which harmonizes with what “God said.” This will be acceptable unto God. Nothing else is or can be.