“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father also does seek such to worship Him. “Elohim is Spirit, and those who worship Him need to worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24)
Christians use this verse to suggest that worshipping the Father, via the Torah, was done away with and that now the way to worship the Father is through the spirit. The spirit to them, means doing whatever they believe to be right. Following their own code of ethics instead of what the Father gave to us. Which is identical to how the Pharisees were in the first century. Something that is missed by most Bible readers today is, the spiritual aspect of the Torah was not being taught at that time. The Pharisees were only teaching outward expressions of obedience, but not inwardly obeying the Torah.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you are like whitewashed tombs which outwardly indeed look well, but inside are filled with dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. “So you too outwardly indeed appear righteous to men, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Matthew 23:27-28)
Do not simply read past the fact that Yeshua said that the Pharisees were lawless. They may have kept their man-made traditions later known as the Talmud, a blend of Torah and additions, but their hearts were not set on Elohim’s ways. To the Pharisees, they believed as long as they performed aspects of the Torah outwardly, as a checklist if you will, that they could add on to the commandments. But this is proof of a heart that is not inclined to El Shaddai’s, and we were always supposed to obey Yah both outwardly and inwardly. For the heart is what Yah looks at when judging a person.
“And now, Yisra’ĕl, what is יהוה your Elohim asking of you, but to fear יהוה your Elohim, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve יהוה your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being, to guard the commands of יהוה and His laws which I command you today for your good?” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)
To love Yah is to obey Him.
“And you shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might. And these Words which I am commanding you today shall be in your heart.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-6)
Serving and loving are one in the same, the latter did not do away with the former as many may contend. How could it, for they work in tandem. Yeshua during his earthly ministry, showed or rather brought back to remembrance, that the commands were always rooted in the heart.
“You heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ “But I say to you that everyone looking at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)
This principle was understood at the time the Torah was re-given to Israel at Mount Sinai, but was forgotten with disobedience and poor leadership. There are levels to understanding the commands of Elohim, the surface level is realizing what the command is saying such as do not commit adultery. The deeper level of understanding, is acknowledging that such actions are first birthed in the heart, thus we must guard our thoughts. During the time of Yeshua in Judah, had there been righteous leaders, the people would not have forgotten this, but they did and that is why Yeshua is explaining/ showing the full intent of the Torah.
Another thing to considered when speaking about the heart, is that the heart had to be right when giving an offering. Just presenting an offering with an unrepented heart did nothing.
“The slaughtering’s of Elohim are a broken spirit, A heart broken and crushed, O Elohim, These You do not despise. Do good in Your good pleasure to Tsiyon; Build the walls of Yerushalayim. Then You would delight in slaughtering’s of righteousness, In ascending offering and complete ascending offering; Then young bulls would be offered on Your slaughter-place.” (Psalms 51:17-19)
This brings us to the what the Torah was designed to do. Contrary to popular beliefs, it is more than a simple list of dos and don’ts. It was designed to create a relationship. You cannot treat the Torah as a checklist and think your living righteously. The heart has to be in it. A sacrifice with a disdained heart, or being superficial in observance, will benefit you nothing. The Torah judges, or rather is used to judge, the thoughts and intentions of the heart, not just the actions. Going through the motions will not profit you.
“For the Word of Elohim is living, and working, and sharper than any two-edged sword, cutting through even to the dividing of being and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
Back to the main topic of the article, worshiping the Father in Spirit. Is it something esoteric? Hardly.
“For we know that the Torah is Spiritual, but I am fleshly, sold under sin.” (Romans 7:14)
The Torah is spiritual and living, remember that, it’s not just words on a page that can be discarded at will. A spiritual being understands spiritual matters, and the Set-apart Spirit and the Torah come from the same source.
“But the Helper, the Set-apart Spirit, whom the Father shall send in My Name, He shall teach you all, and remind you of all that I said to you.” (John 14:26)
One of the functions of the Ruach is to call us to remembrance, we cannot remember what we never learned. The spiritual is not some mystical state of being, completely separated from the physical. Is your spirit separated from your being? No, the two work in tandem. You must study (physical) to allow the Ruach to remind(spiritual) you in times of need.
“I have given them Your Word, and the world hated them because they are not of the world, as I am not of the world.” (John 17:14)
Yeshua taught his disciples the Word (Torah), and this is what the Ruach causes us to remember. The world hates the Torah because it is not of the world but of the Father, just as Yeshua is. Thus, the world hates the Torah and those who diligently follow it.
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the matters of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the matters of the Spirit. For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace. Because the mind of the flesh is enmity towards Elohim, for it does not subject itself to the Torah of Elohim, neither indeed is it able, and those who are in the flesh are unable to please Elohim. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of Elohim dwells in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Messiah, this one is not His.” (Romans 8:5-9)
You are still in the flesh if you do not subject yourself in body and mind(heart) to the Torah. For this, is to have the matters of the Spirit, Torah, on the mind. This allows you to please Elohim in obedience. Those who live according to the flesh, are not able to keep Torah, perhaps in the flesh they can but not in Spirit and truth.
“But you shall receive power when the Set-apart Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Yerushalayim, and in all Yehuḏah and Shomeron, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
“Mighty is the wise in strength, And a man of knowledge strengthens power.” (Proverbs 24:5)
Knowledge equals power, knowledge of the word of Elohim, which is what the Ruach causes us to remember. That is the power of the Ruach.
“And יהושע returned in the power of the Spirit to Galil, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding country.” (Luke 4:14)
Yeshua returned from the wilderness in the power of the Spirit, and combated the Devil with the Torah.
“But the natural man does not receive the matters of the Spirit of Elohim, for they are foolishness to him, and he is unable to know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)
The natural man is unable to receive the Torah, because it comes from the Spirit of Elohim, and the natural man is unable to know the matters of the Spirit of Elohim because he lives in the flesh. That is why we must die to the flesh, in order to receive the spirit.
Continue to test all things and may the Ruach Hakodesh lead you into all truth.
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