Uncut Worship, volume one
By Dr. Frederick K. Price Jr.


Our lesson is entitled "Uncut Worship." Uncut, meaning the purest, the truest, the rawest, the most organic and authentic worship that we could give our God.

Go to John 4. You can imagine where we're headed in John 4.

Now interestingly, during my teaching on Race, Division & Racism, we read this entire chapter. We were looking at the relationship between the Samaritans and the Jews, but in the process, I somewhat dropped an egg about the future lesson that we are beginning today. And that is about worship.

You know the scripture in John 4:24, which mentions what authentic and true worship is, and how you do it.  So, that's where we're beginning here in the 19th verse of John, chapter 4.

Here we see that the woman at the well engages Christ. He engages her, and they have a back-and-forth conversation. Jesus is giving her the truth.  She even questions why He is conversing with her since Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

We understand that there were cultural issues and prejudices that went on in that day. But our focus is the worship aspect of this chapter. And so, beginning at verse 19, it reads:

The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.”

Verse 20: “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship."

So what do we have here? We have the northern kingdom of Israel with Samaria as its capital [named after a man called Shemer] and the southern kingdom of Judah.

Israel was divided – ten tribes in the north and two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, in the south.  For the Samaritans, who were part of the northern kingdom of Israel, the holiest site for worship was Mount Gerizim.  For the Jews and the kingdom of Judah, the holy site to worship was Jerusalem.

The woman was simply highlighting what her tradition said: "Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”

Jesus said to her in verses 21-23: “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.

“You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews."

"But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers . . . ."

Wait a minute! Has there been false worship up to this point? Has there been fake worship? Is that what He means when He says true worshipers?

Not necessarily.

Both the Samaritans and the Jews worshiped on Mount Gerizim and in Jerusalem, based on how they were taught, raised, and the traditions they came up under.  And for them, it was as true as it could possibly be.

When Jesus is speaking of true worship, He is not saying that previously the worship was fake or false, but rather worship that had not been experienced or done before.

"The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship him."

What this also tells us is that the worship that Christ was talking about in that day had not been received by God yet. That’s why He says the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

Verse 24: "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

He talks about spirit in addition to truth.  It is the true worshipers who will worship God in verse 23, but then He follows up with the words in spirit and truth. And He repeats the words "in spirit and truth" in verse 24.

So maybe this tells us that worshiping in spirit is the removal of all carnality and flesh because if you didn't know it, there is fleshly and carnal worship – fleshly and carnal displays of worship.

Now, I'm not talking about physical movement because there is nothing wrong with physical movement if in fact it is sincere, genuine, pure, unadulterated worship.

But the word spirit lets us know this is not referring to something that's carnal.  And truth, of course, is sincerity, or that which is genuine.

So let us see how we can identify, according to the Word, what true worship is.  I am including, this segment of time that every local established ministry has called praise and worship, which is that 15-to-30-minute window that comes before what we call the service.

I'm not just talking about that. I'm not just talking about lifting your hands up during that time of service when song goes forth.  That's a part of it, but it is one small part.  It's not limited to that. We need to find out what true worship is, and what part music plays in it all, and how you can still be in worship in the absence of music.

Okay, the first time we see this word, we don't see any music.  Let's go to Genesis 22. Before we even get into the meat of this, we want to look at the first time we see the word and then the last time we see the word. What's the setting?

Genesis 22, verse one.  We know the account of Abraham.

Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham.

A better word than tested would be proved Abraham.

The traditional version of the Bible uses the word tempted. But God doesn't tempt. That word tempt means to test or prove.  God proved Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”  And he said, “Here I am.”

Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love . . . ."

Why are you saying all this, Lord? Why can't you just tell him to take his son?

Why did you have to add, your only son?  Does this not mean your only son Isaac or rather your only Isaac?  Because the word son is in italics.  That means that the word son was not in the original documents, which means there is a very specific and understandable reason why God would say, "your only son Isaac," because he had Ishmael.

Ishmael was 13 years older.  Ishmael was Abraham’s first son by way of his Egyptian wife, Hagar.  So, Ishmael wasn't his only son.  Isaac was his only Isaac, meaning that Isaac was his only son of promise.

Ishmael was not the son or the child of promise, but Isaac was.

So, God said “Take now your son, your only Isaac, whom you love. . . "  Why the extras words?  " . . . and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.'"

So, what did we just read?  Something we've read numerous times.  We know what God is requesting here or, rather, what God is commanding. Let's remove the biblical and antiquated terminology.  What's God saying?  Abraham, kill your son!

Offer him to Me, and by offering him to Me, kill him. Kill your only Isaac, whom you love.  Now, the next thing we read is the next morning.  We read nothing about Abraham’s immediate response to that.  We don't read anything about how he might have been feeling.

How would you feel if the Lord came to you and said, "The son that I promised you, I want you to now kill him by offering up to me."

We don't get any of that.  We just get verse 3, So Abraham rose early in the morning . . . . We don't read anything about a sleepless night, anger, rage, disappointment.  We don't read anything of that.  We just read in verse 6: So Abraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.

He did everything that God said.

And then on the third day, Abraham lifted his eyes – a bit of a journey hereto the land or Moriah – and saw the place afar off . . .  the place that the Lord told him to take Isaac, who was about 28 years old, and offer him as a sacrifice.

Once again, the transition between verse two and three seems to be pretty peaceful.  We don't get the immediate reaction or response.  We just see that Abraham clearly was able to get some kind of sleep.  We don't know when he went to bed, but we do know that he rose early.  He grabs two young men, and he sees on the third day the land of Moriah, the place of which God said, "Kill your boy."

Now, if you received the same instructions, would you respond the same way?


     
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