German Version

True Fellowship With God
Markus Piercy-Reins

Confronted with countless varieties of today’s churches, fellowships, religious groups and different sects… each of them proclaiming to represent the “truth”… it is not difficult to reach the conclusion: None of them has a hunch about what truth really is!

Additionally taking God’s word and reading it carefully will reinforce this impression.
Jesus is speaking of one shepherd and one flock (John 10) - saying His sheep are able to discern His voice well - running from every stranger - just following HIM alone.

This insight, of course, will bring forth a multitude of questions not so easily answered:
What’s now with all these words of Jesus? Is the Bible just a collection of religious tales someone fabricated in his own mind?
Aren’t “Christians” proving by their lived reality, that this isn’t existing at all?

This is an absolutely legitimate question and every man thinking clearly will come to this conclusion.
But is this the only possibility? Isn’t there the chance that these churches and various sects got something wrong generally… and the visible reality is nothing more than the product of this grave error?
Is there a chance that these groups are built on a foundation never intended by God?

But this would mean that all of these fellowships actually have nothing in common with the words Jesus spoke in John 10!

So the visible reality doesn’t prove the faultiness of God’s word, but just the fact that these groups aren’t identical with the one Jesus is speaking of!

They are not “the” flock of Jesus!

I know these are hard words… but they’re as logical as the first conclusion that God’s word is just a product of man’s fantasy.

That being the case, we can conclude now: it was our Lord Jesus himself who left us the key to real truth.
HE spoke words defining without doubt and misunderstanding what HE is calling “His flock”.

Jesus said to her, “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 will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

John 4: 21-24

(Just to give a better understanding: The words “the father is seeking” have much greater emphasis than the word "seeking" might at first convey.
The word seeking should also say wants, only accepts, is only pleased with to give us the actual weight of Jesus' words.)

These few words are totally sufficient to give us the “true” understanding about God’s understanding of “true” worship.
This scripture is one of the most important in God’s word. Here we clearly see what new testament worship is all about!

To have a better understanding I will give a short overview on the historical background.

After the Assyrians had destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel they deported all the Hebrew tribes living in this area.
Not everyone was deported - some escaped of course - but those mingled with the surrounding people streamed into those empty areas.
However, the “true place of worship” had already become a source of competition. The rulers of the northern kingdom restricted their people to worship in Jerusalem because they feared the loss of their own influence on them.
So they anointed their own priests and temple servants not coming from the tribe of Levi…, and they erected a substitute temple.

Of course the “rightful owners” of the true temple never accepted this. When it came to this mingling of unclean people and religious traditions the “Samaritan religion” was born, despised and rejected by the Jews.
Samaritans believed in the one true God, but it was a “self-made mix” of various religious traditions.

This is just a very compressed version, but it helps us to understand what this conversation of Jesus with the Samaritan woman at the well is all about:

The true worship of God!

This woman knew all too well what “good Jews” thought of Samaritans…, and she was quite surprised when Jesus asked her for water.
Jews usually avoided contact with Samaritans at all costs!

She was quite irritated when Jesus approached her but picked up courage quickly when she asked for the living water Jesus offered to her.

In the following conversation she recognized that this wasn’t a “normal” Jew sitting there before her. She thought HE probably was a man of God or a prophet… and now she couldn’t hold back any longer. She had to ask HIM about the “true worship” of God.

Perhaps she was anticipating a long theological dissertation about why the temple in Jerusalem and traditional Jewish worshippers were the only true ones.

But however, Jesus answered her with the above quoted words, and if everyone ever naming himself a “Christian” could have begun to grasp the significance of these few sentences, the history of this world would have looked totally different!

Jesus is saying here without doubt, that there is no “true” place of worship, no “true” worship rites and no “true” religion!

HE is saying: True worship is found in every single man worshipping God in Spirit and truth!
And He is saying this is the only way pleasing to God!

To say it clearly: Jesus says true worship has nothing to do with being a member of a special people or religion. No, there aren’t “true” rites or a special place for which you have to search.
True worship is found when the worshipper is drawing close to God in spirit and truth!

This is radically different! This is blowing our whole religious system apart!

No, it’s not about a "true" religion! It’s about a personal relationship with God resting in absolute truth!

This is the will of God!

Let’s look on the two components spirit and truth a little closer:

The Spirit

The first component of true worship Jesus is mentioning here is the spirit, and it is important that we have a clear understanding of what Jesus meant with “spirit”.

Spirit isn’t our intellectual ability to think, but more the “organ” God created as a separate component of our being when HE created man as spirit, soul and body.

The spirit is the “tool” designed for serving just one purpose: Contact with God!

Our feelings, sensations and our intellectual abilities are rooted in our soul… and have nothing to do with the spirit.

Caused by the separation from God, man's spirit is "inactivated". The only thing reminding us something is missing in us to be whole is the distant vague sensation of supernatural realities.

Man has this sensation but is missing the appropriate tool to fill this inner “vacuum”. He is sensing something but has no ability for an adequate response. However this sensation is stirring inner unrest and he starts to roam around to find answers using the only tools he has: The tools of his soul (thinking and feeling).

The result of this? An immeasurable variety of religions, cults, religious practices and rites, and yes, those are all “products” of our soul! Products of our ability to think and comprehend - our sensations and feelings.

Well, due to our very limited state these products have to be errors… without any exception!

When the spirit isn't available - the only legitimate tool for man - all human efforts have to fail!

But it is the spirit Jesus is mentioning here first to bring well-pleasing worship to God… and yes, HE even states that the time is now when true worshippers worship God in spirit and truth!

So true worship of God must be "enabled"!

But isn’t that saying that the inactivated spirit of man is functioning again?!? How can this happen?

Well, we don’t need to go far to find the answer. We just have to flip one chapter back to John 3:
We have to be born again!

God has to create us anew in the rebirth… HE has to equip us again with an alive and functioning spirit!

So to be born again isn’t about to be a member of a particular church or having passed through a certain ritual (baptism).
To be born again is proved by nothing else than by the existence of something that wasn’t there before: a functioning, living spirit!

This is shown clearly without doubt when a man suddenly is able to fill the “vacuum” successfully, when he is able to communicate with God. It is talking with God and hearing!

But Jesus is mentioning a second component:

The Truth

Truth is very important with Jesus! There are many scriptures showing HIM talking about truth. But beware of misunderstanding this… HE doesn’t speak about many truths… there is just one truth!

But no fear! HE doesn’t speak about the “one” true religion. And no, He doesn’t speak about “Christianity” here!

Again, it’s not about the true religion - it’s about the truth of a person: The person of God!

And this truth about God has an unavoidable consequence: The confrontation with HIS truth reveals the truth about myself!

Truth isn’t a religion! Truth is just between you and the living God! You just have to accept one truth before you: The truth about yourself in the “true” light of your creator!

Yes, this isn’t comfortable… it’s painful! We’re not as good as we think we are and this truth about us is a painful process.
We have to accept the truth of being lost and helpless without any hope… never ever being able to reach God with our strength.

But there is another component coming with this truth! The absolute truth of God includes the truth about HIS incredible love, too. A love ready to gift us vastly beyond any comprehension.

This is the will of God… God wants true worshippers to worship in spirit and truth!

He doesn’t want rituals! He wants you to know HIM personally communicating with HIM as a friend!

This communication isn’t a formal thing but it is a living exchange driven by love and joy not by pressure, force or even fanaticism.
Do you understand that all religious activities are nothing else than empty self-deception!
Do you understand that just one thing is counting with God: You worshipping HIM in spirit and truth!

In the beginning I made very clear that the products of human activity have contrary effects on God’s plans. Instead of being living testimonies of God, we are deeply involved in blind self-satisfaction of our soul in such a ridiculous way making many doubting the truth of God’s word.
Our products (churches, fellowships, religious groups) are an obstacle for God’s true kingdom!

It is time to face the truth! It is time to allow God’s truth to tear down our self-built houses of cards.

The only thing that counts: Are you worshipping God the way… the only way He is pleased with? Are you worshipping your God in spirit and truth?

No, no… this is not about some future time in heaven… Jesus says the time is: NOW!

It is time to start something new! Just allow the truth to convict you! Take His word seriously and obey HIS word! Be concerned about a true and personal fellowship with your God in worshipping HIM in spirit and truth!

Imagine two of such worshippers meeting each other! Guess what will be visible then?
Or even imagine some more of these true worshippers worshipping together in spirit and truth!

God doesn’t want an “earthen” temple! He doesn’t want a religion or theologies and philosophies. HE is longing and seeking for a temple of individual men worshipping HIM in spirit and truth.
God doesn’t want mega-churches - no shows, no miracle-healers! And HE doesn’t want “your” activity!

God wants you and me to know HIM… true life abundantly! He wants our lives being a whole worship in spirit and truth!

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
     Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
For He is our God,
     And we are the people of His pasture,
     And the sheep of His hand.
     Today, if you will hear His voice:
“Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion,
     As in the day of trial in the wilderness,
When your fathers tested Me;
     They tried Me, though they saw My work.
For forty years I was grieved with that generation,
     And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts,
     And they do not know My ways.’
So I swore in My wrath,
     ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ”

Psalms 95:6-11

Shall we provoke God’s wrath like Israel by choosing our own way instead of HIS?

Yes, it’s you!

He wants worship and fellowship with you!

Oh, let’s start to seek HIS face in spirit and truth today!

Let’s become quiet before HIM meditating about these important words in John 4. Let’s allow our deepest being to be touched by HIS deepest longing!

It is not about my views… it’s about HIS declared will!

Let’s meditate on the personal consequences for us when Jesus, the living “Word of God” says: The Father is seeking…!


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