See how I bare you on eagles’ wings and brought you unto myself.” Ex.19: 4.

Royce Kennedy ◊ 909 Whistling Duck Drive ◊ Largo, MD 20774
Website: www.godfire.net/kennedy/



“The Father Seeks True Worshippers” January 2016.   Part 1


“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.

As we cross over into a new year, looking upon our lives in retrospect, we must be awed and eternally thankful to our heavenly Father for his tender mercies and loving kindness. Indeed, our blessings are too great to be listed numerically in this publication. This brings to mind a little chorus I learned in the churches along the Eastern Seaboard during my first visit to the US in 1969. It goes like this: “When I think of the goodness of Jesus; and all he has done for me, my soul cries out hallelujah, thank God for saving me.” A word from an ancient prophet serves well at this juncture: “They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:23.

 I hope that your holidays were full of meaning and very blessed. As we begin a new year, it is time for me to update my mailing list so as to keep only the active members who stay in touch. If you have not contacted me over the past 12 to 18 months and still wish to receive these writings, please contact me expressing your desire not to be taken off the list. You can use the e-mail address above, or drop a post card in the mail to the address also shown above. Also if you plan to move your new address will help me keep in touch with you.

 The reason for updating my mailing list is to make sure that I am not mailing to folks who don’t really want to receive these writings anymore. I can understand that: and of course, it is your choice without any obligation on your part. My plan is to revamp the list in time for the March 2016 mailing: so if you have not responded over the past 12 to 18 months, you must respond by March 1st 2016. Of course, if there is no response from you, I will no doubt simply drop your name. I will do this reluctantly: so please act accordingly. Combing the hillsides and ravines that reflect the vast spectrum of the Christian world: (including non-Christians) we are faced with myriad forms of worship; involving scores upon scores of different religions. I am sure during your conversations with others, you have heard it said: “We worship differently, but we are all worshipping the same God.” Really! We’ll see what Jesus thought about that.

         For us to go around, and individually determine whose worship is true and whose is false, would effectively brand us as arrogant, self-righteous, and full of demagoguery. But as we proceed in this study, we will notice that Jesus clarified the issue based upon his own divine perspective. He effectively outlined what is acceptable to the Father, and what is not. If we watch certain documentaries on television, we will notice that not only do people in different nations embrace and practice different forms of worship. But consider India as a nation. It has been said that in India there are as many gods as there are people.

In Hawaii some people pay homage to Pele the god of fire that controls volcanoes. There is the god of fertility, the god of rain and storms, and the list could fill this entire page. Judging by human history itself, it would appear that man was made to worship; even if he does not know exactly what he is worshipping. There seems to indwell each person an inherent desire to worship; and in many cases having missed the true God, they serve the next best thing. Explorers venturing into the jungles of the Amazon jungle and deep into the badlands of Papua New Guinea have encountered ancient tribes with ancient customs.

But each tribe seems to have their individual kind of worship. The bottom line is that man, somehow, acts out of an inner motive to worship something, or someone outside of himself. We are told: “And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.” Genesis 4: 26. This was so close to the Creation Story that the bible column offers no date. But to call upon the name of the Lord strongly suggests some form of worship.         

Along the way, we are going to answer the question if all forms of worship are acceptable to God. We will delve deeper into the question of the object of our worship. In other words, can we tap the shoulder of the worshipper of a stone god and commend him for being engaged in true worship? And yet, if we were up in the mountains of Tibet and seeing the people worshipping their man-made gods, whether stones, iron, clay, or even animals, we would not venture to step in and declare their worship as being false and heathenistic. 

          But the words of Jesus Christ spoken away back in 33 A. D. still rings true in our midst today. “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 4:23, 24. So we can conclude that God still seeks true worshippers. It is important to emphasize this fact, because as we alluded to above, peoples and nations at this moment are serving their own gods. In the meantime, our heavenly Father has specified what caliber of worship is acceptable to him. 

          Heeding the call to worship!! The following passage of scripture will serve as the crux of our study. It must remain the basic foundation of the truth we want to glean during our search of the scriptures. Let us begin with the remarks made by the Samaritan woman. “The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” John 4:19, 20. Actually, reading through the contents of this dialogue between the two, it is not recorded where Jesus told the woman that in Jerusalem is the place to worship (referring to the temple.)  But her remarks suggested that Jesus did say so. 

It is from this juncture that Jesus explained that God is a Spirit and they that worship him MUST worship him in spirit and in truth FOR THE FATHER SEEKETH SUCH TO WORSHIP HIM. We must assume that over the vast expanse of time since Christ walked the earth, the Father still seeks true worshippers to worship him in spirit and in truth.  Although it seems that as early as the time of Seth, men began to call upon the name of the Lord, and although Noah, after he existed the Ark, built an altar and offered a sacrifice unto God (which is a form of worship) and if we consider the elements of tabernacle worship in the wilderness we will glean a ton of nuggets of truths: but we will fast forward to the days of King David.  

A solemn call is made to Israel in this Psalm! “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.” Psalm 95: 6, 7. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” Ps. 29: 2. And again we read: “O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all ye earth. Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.” Psalm 96:1, 2,8,9. 

David was not bashful or stingy when it came to his form of worship. “And David and all the house of Israel played before the Lord on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals.” 2nd Samuel 6:5. A description of worship back in the days of David, followed by Solomon sounds like this: “And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place: (for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course: Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets.) And it came even to pass, as the trumpets and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud (God’s shekinah glory) even the house of the Lord; so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.” 2nd Chronicles 5: 11-14. Ladies and gentlemen, this is not “playing church” or going through the motion already written on the day’s program sheets that were prepared on Thursday or Friday of that week for Sunday’s worship services. God is on the scene and is about to react to worship that he approves of.  

“Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house. (Make special note of the next statement) And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, (outside) and worshipped, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.” 2nd Chronicles 7: 1-3. This kind of demonstration of God’s presence in our times of worship, is the Lord taking over from man’s feeble efforts. In reality, he inserts himself in the very act of worship; and by his strong presence all of man’s efforts to continue worshipping are brought to an end. At this juncture, man can only stand aside as bystanders, watching the demonstration of the Holy Spirit. 

I have been in meetings when the Lord came in as a ball of fire, preceded by escorting angels. As his glory filled the house of worship, the pastor and I are left to pace the floor, back and forth as spectators, not being able to touch what’s going on with a long stick. Hallelujah! The Holy Spirit took over completely and while the saints are falling in several directions in what seemed like total chaos to the natural eyes, needs were being met by the overflowing of the Spirit as if the very throne of God had descended to earth, and was now sitting in our midst. 

Some years after this particular meeting in Jamaica, I met a brother from that meeting in Toronto; and when I referred to it, he said: Brother that meeting was a memorial! Observing this subject carefully, especially from the words of Christ, it seems as if true worship must have a correlation with the object of worship. Jesus was clear in saying to the woman: “Ye worship ye know not what.”         

          Paul came into Athens and saw a worship symbol that read: To the unknown God. He stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said: “Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious (rather, super religious) For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.” Acts 17:23. Since there people did not know God, they decided to play it safe by erecting a sign or billboard that did not describe an individual. They coined words into a vague phrase that could be applied to any god who cared to respond; while they themselves had no clue what being or personage they are worshipping.

In this case, Jesus would be correct again in saying: “Ye worship ye know not what!” We are reminded of those who say, “We worship differently, but we are all worshipping the same God” and without going to extremes we know that this cannot be so. Let us see as far as Jesus is concerned, what amounts to vain worship—worship that is not acceptable unto the Father, and what makes it so.  Watch this carefully and notice the distinction outlined and highlighted by Christ himself. “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. Jesus could have said: “Well, they don’t know any better—so I have to cut them a little slack and sort of look the other way; and accept their worship. The method is wrong, but the motive is right so that will work.” I don’t think so!! Jesus made the observation and passed judgment that settled the issue on his own terms. “But IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, and here is the culprit! Here is the deal breaker! Teaching for doctrine the commandments of men. A few verses above Jesus said: Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.” Matthew 15:6-9. 

          Ladies and gentlemen! The countless numbers of religions around the world that have captivated the heart and lives of millions are based upon the tradition of men—teaching for doctrines the commandments of men!! This is why in all of my writings, I stay within the Word of God and in my spirit I loathe man-made traditions; because as Jesus said, they tend to render the commandments of God of none effect. Chances are, I was raised on some of the same traditions as yourself, and perhaps you are still adhering to those traditions; in some cases, simply to honor your father and your mother. But I have said over and over again, that I will not be a Baptist simply because my mother and father were Baptists. The same holds true for any religion that currently decorate the broad spectrum of the Christian landscape. 

I mentioned this before in other writings, but it is worth repeating in this issue. Back in London, England in 1967 the Lord spoke to me saying: “Don’t be a copy-cat preacher! Don’t repeat everything you hear! Check the source of the information; and if the source is wrong, throw everything out, for all of it is wrong. And when you read the bible, read slowly watch every word, for words have meanings.”  So it was that I entered a school of learning on my own, guided by the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of Jesus Christ my Lord.  

If there are times when your prayers don’t seem to work: if they seem not to pass the ceiling above your head; don’t get frustrated: simply begin to worship in praises right where you are. In so doing, you do not bring the Lord any closer for he is always as close as he needs to be. But worship creates the right mindset in you, and lifts your own spirit out of the doldrums of despair and you soon realize that after all, you are seated with Christ in heavenly places. But perhaps you’d like ask me how do you worship IN SPIRIT as Jesus indicated that the Father seeks this kind of worshipper. The answer is in the next issue! Again: Happy New Year!!

In His Service—Royce