©  Harvestime International Institute





                                                                                                                        Page Number


Introduction:               A Call To Worship                                                                  4


Chapter 1:                   A Biblical Theology  Of Worship                                          7


Chapter 2:                   A Prelude To Worship                                                            17


Chapter 3:                   Defining Worship                                                                   24


Chapter 4:                   Counterfeit Worship                                                               29


Chapter 5:                   Acceptable Worship                                                                46


Chapter 6:                   Old Testament Worship 1                                                       55

                                    Early Worship


Chapter 7:                   Old Testament Worship 2                                                       67

                                    Worship In The Tabernacle


Chapter 8:                   Old Testament Worship 3                                                       86

                                    Worship In The Historical Era


Chapter 9:                   Old Testament Worship 4                                                       114

                                    Worship In The Poetical Books


Chapter 10:                 Old Testament Worship 5                                                       139

                                    Worship In The Prophetic Era: Major Prophets


Chapter 11:                 Old Testament Worship 6                                                       156

                                    Worship In The Prophetic Era: Minor Prophets


Chapter 12:                 New Testament Worship 1                                                     170

                                    Worship In The Gospels And Acts


Chapter 13:                 New Testament Worship 2                                                     179

                                    Worship In Revelation


Chapter 14:                 Personal Preparation For Worship                                          191





Chapter 15:                 Biblical Elements Of Worship 1                                             199


Chapter 16:                 Biblical Elements Of Worship 2                                             219


Chapter 17:                 Biblical Elements Of Worship 3                                             239


Chapter 18:                 Warfare And Worship                                                            246


Chapter 19:                 Leading Worship                                                                    259


Chapter 20:                 Spirit-Led Worship                                                                 275


Chapter 21:                 The Manifested Presence                                                        283


Chapter 22:                 Hindrances To Worship                                                          293


Chapter 23:                 Living A Worshipful Lifestyle                                               304


Appendix One:            References On Thanks, Thanksgiving,  Praise, Praising,       315

                                    Glorify, Magnify, And Honor


Appendix Two:           Old Testament References To Worship                                  347


Appendix Three:         New Testament References To Worship                                359


Appendix Four:           References To Shofar, Trumpet, Music, and Song                366


Appendix Five:           References On The Manifested Presence Of God                  394


Appendix Six:             References On Rejoice and Rejoicing                                    402


Appendix Seven:         Worship And The Attributes Of God                                     414


Appendix Eight:          Worship And The Names of God                                           417


Appendix Nine:           Family Worship                                                                      431


Appendix Ten:            Answers To Self-Tests                                                            435












You are a worshipper.  It is not a question of whether or not you will worship, but a question of who or what you will worship. There are many who choose to worship idols.  Others  pay homage to leaders of false religions or worship creation.  And some, like you, will choose to worship the true God, the purpose for which mankind was created.   


This study is based on the Holy Bible, the written Word of the one true God, which reveals that all of creation has been called to worship.  The angels (Hebrews 1:6); the nations (Psalm 86:9); the elements (Psalm 96:11); and God’s people (Psalm 67:3).


The Holy Bible proclaims that worship of the one true God is your first priority.  Jesus declared:


Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.  (Matthew 22:37-38)


Jesus further clarified:


Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.  (Luke 4:8)


As a Believer, you are chosen to demonstrate God’s praise, glory, and grace:


According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (Ephesians 1:4-6)


Worship is your spiritual birthright.  You are part of a royal priesthood of worshippers which includes all true born-again Believers in Jesus Christ:


            But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;      that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  (1 Peter 2:9)


To function in this ministry requires more than observing the worship experience of others.  It requires more than learning the doctrine of worship…


“Unfortunately, experiences cannot be transmitted genetically, nor can they be transferred historically.  It takes similar personal encounters with God to produce like worship responses and all too frequently it is the doctrine rather than the experience that is passed on to succeeding generations.”  Judson Cornwall


The source of this study of worship is God’s Word, the Holy Bible.  In some churches, liturgy and personal preference have been substituted for biblical worship.  The Word of God in essence has been “lost in the house of God” as it was in the days of evil King Manasseh in Old Testament times (2 Kings 22).  We “lose” the Word of God when we make our experiences or the claims of popular teachers or our denominations more authoritative than the Bible.  When we substitute our insights, opinions, experiences, and prejudices for the Word, then we have “lost” the Word from the house of God.  We need leaders like King Josiah who will declare: “Go ye, inquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found…”(2 Kings 22:13).


Problems have often occurred in our churches because of differences of opinions about worship.  The very thing that should bring us together has torn us apart at times.  As Believers, there are basic doctrinal truths we must agree upon that are mandated in God’s Word.  At the same time, in the area of worship there needs to be freedom within the bounds of Scripture.  Everyone in every nation and every culture should be permitted to express their heartfelt love for God in an appropriate biblical way. 


This manual is a primer on worship for new Believers and an invitation to seasoned Believers to experience biblical worship in a new dimension.  For all, it provides instruction in what we will do for all eternity:  Worship.  When at last we are at home with the Lord,  preaching, teaching, and praying for the sick and demonized will cease.  But worship will continue forever.  Let’s prepare properly now for what we will do in eternity.   


Worship is best learned by worshipping, and that is the purpose of this study.  The goal is to enable you to understand biblical worship and inspire you to worship God in spirit and in truth.  We are not interested in just disseminating information.  Rather, we want to provide a  biblical revelation that will  be manifested in a personal worship experience with God.


So let’s begin… 



















Upon completion of this course you will be able to:


-Define a Biblical theology of worship.

-Explain and experience the prelude to worship.

-Define worship.

-Identify counterfeit worship.

-Explain the basic tenets of acceptable worship.

-Summarize the record of early biblical worship.

-Summarize worship in the Tabernacle.

-Summarize worship during the historical era

-Summarize worship in the book of Psalms.

-Discuss worship in the prophetic era.

-Summarize and apply worship principles taught by Jesus.

-Summarize and apply the worship practices of the early Church.

-Discuss and apply worship principles taught in the Epistles.

-Explain and use biblical elements of worship.

-Summarize what the Bible teaches regarding worship and spiritual warfare and apply these 

 principles in your life.

-Lead corporate worship.

-Define and discuss Spirit-led worship.

-Experience the manifested presence of God.

-Identify and eliminate hindrances to Worship.

-Explain the concept of  a worshipful lifestyle.

-Become a true worshipper of God.



















Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

            -Explain what is meant by a biblical theology of worship.

            -Detail the biblical pattern of worship.

            -List the types of worship.

            -Identify who we worship.

            -Explain why we worship.

            -Summarize when we are to worship.

            -Identify where we are to worship.

            -Summarize the attitudes of worship.

            -Discuss the results of worship.




Have I not written to you excellent things of counsels and knowledge, that I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, that you may answer words of truth to those who send to you? (Proverbs 22:20-21)




A biblical theology of worship is based on teaching concerning worship of the one true God as disclosed in His Word, the Holy Bible.  That is the subject of this manual.  This chapter introduces foundational truths upon which we will build in subsequent lessons. 


Worship is not just about the lyrics, vocalists, and instrumentalists, although these are important elements in worship.  It is not about traditions, liturgy, artistry, or creative expression--although these are valid expressions of worship if they do not become vain rituals. True worship is about God. We honor Him, not just because of what He does for us, but for who He is.

The prerequisite for worshipping is being born-again. If you have not experienced the new birth, chapter two entitled “A Prelude To Worship” will guide you step-by-step.


A biblical theology of worship requires an understanding of the definition of worship which is the focus of  chapter three.  You must also understand the differences between true and false worship, issues that are dealt with in chapters four and five of this manual. 


Worship requires centering your mind, heart, soul, and spirit on the Lord. This requires accurate knowledge of the Trinity of God as revealed in Scriptures.  A true worshipper must spend time in the Word of God.  Intensive study of worship in the Bible reveals what is taught in the Old and New Testaments regarding the subject in terms of examples and commands.  This is covered in chapters six through thirteen of this study.  One must learn how to prepare for worship and understand the biblical elements of worship, the subjects of chapters fourteen through seventeen.


A biblical theology of worship includes understanding of spiritual warfare and worship, Spirit-led worship, and how to experience the manifested presence of God.  It also includes an understanding of how to lead worship in a biblical manner and how to recognize and eliminate hindrances to worship.  These are covered in chapters eighteen through twenty-two.


Most importantly, a biblical theology of worship recognizes that God is concerned with more than the externals of worship.  God speaks of those who honor Him with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him (Isaiah 29:13).  True biblical worship produces change, both inwardly and outwardly. Worship changes your heart, a change which is manifested in your attitude and actions.   Jesus said those who love Him will keep His commandments. A biblical theology of worship leads to the conviction that worship is a lifestyle, not just a special service once a week after which you live a routine life during the remainder of the week.  More about that in chapter twenty-three.


Let’s begin by answering some basic questions regarding worship.




The biblical pattern of worship includes:

Exalting:          God                             Up-reach

Edifying:         The Body of Christ     In-reach

Evangelizing:  The lost                       Out-reach


The early church followed this pattern (Acts 24:3,46,47).  John also emphasized it (John 15:1-11,12-17,18-27).  When you exalt, you edify.  When you edify, you evangelize. When you evangelize, you edify and exalt...and so the pattern continues.




The Bible speaks of various types of worship:


The worship of repentance.  Psalms 51 is a wonderful example of the worship of repentance.  It is the prayer David prayed after his sin with Bathsheba.


The worship of acceptance.   Job lost his children, his wealth, and his health, yet he worshipped:


Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground and worshipped.  And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither; the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.  (Job 1:20-21)


The worship of devotion.  The story of Abraham and his son, Isaac, is the greatest example of the worship of devotion (Genesis 22:1-14).  Abraham was commanded to give his only son as a sacrifice to God.  To offer the worship of devotion, Abraham had to die to the desire of a son. This type of worship denounces selfish desires and focuses on God alone  Sacrificial worship always brings glory to God, and in the end Isaac was spared and God was glorified through the offering of a sacrificial substitute.


The worship of commitment.  For an example of the worship of commitment, see the account in 2 Chronicles 15:10-15 where Israel made a covenant to serve God.  They offered sacrifices and made a covenant to seek the Lord with all their heart and soul.  They were shouting praises to God and using trumpets and cornets in their worship.


The worship of warfare.  Basically, there are four areas of attack by the enemy. Satan attacks your worship of God, the Word of God, your Christian walk, and your work for God.  Worship is one of the most important spiritual weapons you possess.  More about this in Chapter Eighteen.




We are to worship the Trinity of God, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  The Biblical command is clear in Revelation 19:10 and 22:9:  “Worship God”.




We worship because we are commanded to do so.  The first of the ten commandments is to worship God:


Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

(Exodus 20:3-6)


The Bible contains many commands to worship, but the bottom line is summed up in this brief statement:  “Worship God”  (Revelation 22:9).


We worship because of biblical examples.  Scripture is dominated by examples of people who worshipped God.  You will meet them during the Old and New Testament surveys of worship in this manual.


We worship because we are chosen to do so.  Believers are chosen by God to worship:


This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. 

(Isaiah 43:21)


Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ...But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, peculiar people, that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.  (1 Peter 2:5,9)


Your greatest purpose is worshipping God:


Now, be not negligent...for the Lord hath chosen you to stand before Him, to serve Him, and that ye should minister unto Him...(2 Chronicles 29:11)


We worship because it affects our eternal destiny.  You were created to worship and your eternal destiny is determined by whether or not you worship the true God.


We worship because God loves it.  He is enthroned on your praises (Psalm 22:3). 


We worship because there is spiritual power in worship.  More on this in chapter eighteen on Warfare And Worship.


We worship because it is a good thing to do.  The Bible says praise is pleasant (Psalm 135:3) and good (Psalm 92:1).


We worship because God is worthy.  The Creator is worthy of praise by all of His creation (Revelation 4:11).  He is most worthy of your praise (Psalm 48:11).




We should worship now.  Jesus declared:  “..the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father…”(John 4:23).  We are not Old Testament Believers who await special holy days of sacrifice and worship. We do not wait for a designated day or time. Right now is the time to worship.


We should worship daily.   Israel praised the Lord day-by-day (2 Chronicles 30:21).  The New Testament church went from house-to-house daily praising God  (Acts 2:46-47).


We should worship after a special manifestation of the Lord.  Read about the special appearance of God to Abraham in Genesis 12 and check out the manifestation of God to Moses in Exodus 34.   When God revealed Himself in a special way, people worshipped.


We should worship upon receipt of the promises of God.  When Abraham received promises from God, he responded by worshiping (Genesis 13:14-18).


We should worship when God answers our prayers.  When God answered Eleazer’s prayers,  he worshipped (Genesis 24:26).


We should worship when granted favor.  When Eleazer was granted favor, he worshipped God (Genesis 24:52).


We should worship when we are happy.  James 5:13 asks:  “Is anyone happy?  Let him sing songs of praise.”


We should worship when we are in crisis.  David worshipped God before and after the death of his child.  This is a true sacrifice of praise.  Psalms 27:5 speaks of times of trouble, yet verse 6 speaks of offering "sacrifices of joy” despite the circumstances.  David said:


I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord.  (Psalms 116:17)


And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving and declare His works with rejoicing.  (Psalms 107:22)


Praise and worship are not a sacrifice when everything is going good and you feel like praising God.  It is a sacrifice when everything is going wrong and you still choose to praise Him.


Through the dark hours of the greatest trial of his life, Job worshipped God.  He worshipped at the beginning and the end of his trial (Job 2:10 and 19:25-26).  The prophet Habakkuk declared:


Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3:17-18)


We should worship in all we do.  You do this when you do everything for the glory of God.  Live a lifestyle of worship:


            Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

            (1 Corinthians 10:31)


We should worship continuously. The Bible says to worship from the rising of the sun until it goes down (Psalm 113:3).  Other verses confirm this.


I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  (Psalms 34:1)


Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favor my righteous cause; yea, let them say continually, Let the Lord be magnified... (Psalms 35:27)


By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His Name.  (Hebrews 13:15)


The disciples were in the temple "continually" praising God.  (Luke 24:53)


Blessed are those who dwell in your house and your presence...they will be singing your praises all the day long.  (Psalms 84:4, TAB)


Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (Ephesians 5:18-20)


We should worship forever. The psalmist declared, “I will praise thee forever” (Psalms 52:9).



Charles Spurgeon notes that “All places are places of worship to a Christian. Wherever he is, he ought to be in a worshiping frame of mind.”  

We can worship anywhere.  Worship is not limited to a temple, a church, or a designated place  (John 4:20-21).   You can draw near to God anywhere with full assurance of faith that you will be received into His presence (Hebrews 10:19-22). You can worship amidst the noise of everyday life, or in the quiet of the countryside.  You can worship in your bed (Psalm 149:5).  True worship occurs in your spirit and is not dependent upon the environment.


We should worship corporately.


I will declare thy name unto my brethren; in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.  (Psalms 22:22)


I will give thee thanks in the great congregation; I will  praise thee among much people.  (Psalms 35:18)


Praise ye the Lord.  Sing unto the Lord a new song, and His praise in the congregation of saints.  (Psalms 149:1)


We should worship privately.


Let the saints be joyful in the glory and beauty (which God confers upon them); let them sing for joy upon their beds.  (Psalms 149:5, TAB)


We should worship before unbelievers.


And He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God; many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.  (Psalms 40:3)


Sing unto the Lord, bless His name, shew forth His salvation from day to day.

Declare His glory among the heathen, His wonders among all people. 

            (Psalms 96:2-3)



We should worship before the nations of the world.


I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people;  I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.  (Psalms 108:3)


Declare His glory among the heathen, His wonders among all people. 

            (Psalms 96:1-3)         




The proper attitudes of worship are best illustrated by woman whose story is recounted in

Luke 7:


And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

(Luke 7:37-38)


This woman expressed the proper attitudes of worship.  She demonstrated her love for Jesus by her actions.  She brought a gift of great value to bestow upon Him.  She was humble, worshipping at His feet.  She expressed her deepest emotions, as witnessed by her tears.  The psalmist said:  “…the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, oh God, thou wilt not despise”  (Psalm 51:17). 


Be prepared as you may be criticized for your worship, as was this woman.  But Jesus defended her, met her need, and changed her life (Luke 7:44-48).




God is glorified.  When you praise God, you glorify Him:


Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me; and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.  (Psalms 50:23)


The Bible says God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalms 22:3). When you praise Him, you build a spiritual tabernacle in which He comes to dwell.


            “Praise is building a house for God.  Worship is God moving in.” Myles Munroe


Worshippers are recognized.  Seekers are received into the presence of God:


Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His  courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.  (Psalms 100:4)


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. (John 4:23)


Believers are purified.  When you come into the presence of God through worship, you are purified:


As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to praise.  (Proverbs 27:21)


As you worship, the impurities of your life are separated from the precious things and rise to the surface so you can get them taken care of at the cross.  When you spend time in His presence, you are changed:

-Moses reflected the glory of God upon His countenance.

-People noticed that the disciples had been with God.

-Isaiah, a man of unclean lips, was purged by the fire of God.


As you are cleansed, you can ascend to higher levels of worship:


Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?  or who shall stand in his holy place?

He that hath clean hands and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.  (Psalms 24:3-5)


The church is edified.  A praising church results in people who are unified, giving, excited, and worshiping at home as well as corporately (Acts 2:42-47).


The lost are evangelized.  Acts 2:47 records that as Believers worshipped, others were added to the Church.  When you worship biblically in spirit and in truth, unbelievers coming into your midst are drawn to God.




As you survey the Bible in this study, you will discover a wide variety of ways to worship God and express devotion to Him. Some of these methods are specific commands from God, while others seem to have been the choice of the people involved.


Let’s continue this study with what is perhaps the most important chapter, “A Prelude To Worship.”











1.         Write the key verses.



2.         What is meant by “a biblical theology of worship”?



3.         What is the biblical pattern of worship?



4.         List the types of worship discussed in this chapter.





5.         Who do we worship?



6.         Why do we worship?





7.         When are we to worship?



8.         Where are we to worship?



9.         What are the attitudes of worship?





10.       Discuss the results of worship.





11.       How will you apply what you learned about worship in this chapter?



            Spend some time in worship when you complete this lesson.


(Answers to Self-Tests are found at the conclusion of this manual.)




Review these quotes regarding worship:


“Worship service is a term often used to describe a Sunday morning gathering of a church.  But is real worship actually happening there?  God isn’t looking for attendees to fill up the pews; He is seeking true worshippers…Authentic worship is not an obligation, burden, or some weekly task, but rather a total spiritual recognition of God’s gracious loving-kindness and divine majesty.”  Dr. Charles Stanley


“When the day comes for me, as it came for Hannah, that my Samuel, in whom all my hopes are centered, passes out of my hands into God’s, then I shall know what it really means to worship Him.  For worship follows in the wake of the cross, where God is all in all.  When our hands are emptied of all we hold dear and the focus shifts from ourselves to God, that is worship.”

Watchman Nee

“The worship to which we are called in our renewed state is far too important to be left to personal preferences, to whims, or to marketing strategies. It is the pleasing of God that is at the heart of worship. Therefore, our worship must be informed at every point by the Word of God as we seek God’s own instructions for worship that is pleasing to Him.”  R.C. Sproul

“The Church has been propagated by the Holy Spirit, so we can only worship in the Spirit, we can only pray in the Spirit, and we can only preach effectively in the Spirit, and what we do must be done by the power of the Spirit…Only the Holy Spirit can enable a fallen man to worship God acceptably.”  A. W. Tozer


“There are too many churches, too many Christians that do not know how to worship God or even why worship is our primary responsibility before Him.  We have churches that emphasize preaching, churches that stress evangelism, and churches that highlight body fellowship, but worship is the priority commandment from God.  We are called to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, our soul, mind, and strength, and we develop our love for Him in worship.” 

Dr. David Jeremiah


"We live in what one writer has called the ‘age of sensation’.  We think that if we don't feel something there can be no authenticity in doing it.  But the wisdom of God says something different:  That we can act ourselves into a new way of feeling much quicker than we can feel ourselves into a new way of acting. Worship is an act that develops feelings for God…When we obey the command to praise God in worship, our deep, essential need to be in relationship with God is nurtured."  Eugene Peterson 


“Worship has been misunderstood as something that arises from a feeling which ‘comes upon you,’ but it is vital that we understand that it is rooted in a conscious act of the will to serve and obey the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Graham Kendrick







Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

            -Define a prelude.

            -Explain Paul’s concern over the city of Athens.

            -Summarize Paul’s message at Mars Hill.

            -State the main point of Paul’s message on Mar’s Hill.

            -List steps for coming to know God.

            -List guidelines for living a new life in Christ.

            -List principles for growing in faith.




Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.  For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.  (Acts 17:22-23)




A prelude is an action in preparation for something that is to follow.  A prelude to music introduces the remainder of the musical score. The prelude of a book introduces the literary work that follows. The prelude to worship discussed in this chapter is necessary in order to become a  worshipper of the one true God.  




The Apostle Paul was waiting in Athens for the arrival of his mission co-workers, Silas and Timothy.  Paul saw that the city was completely given over to idolatry and his spirit was stirred within him.  He began to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the market place, with leaders in the synagogue, and with other devout persons (Acts 17:15-18).  Eventually, he was invited to speak about this “new doctrine” at the Areopagus,  which was known as Mars Hill.  It was where the highest governmental council and great thinkers of the society gathered (Acts 17:19).


Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.  For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.  (Acts 17:22-23)


Athens was filled with various idols, and just in case they had left out any important deity they also erected an altar to the unknown God.


In Paul’s message, he introduces them to the  “unknown God”.  The prelude for worship is set forth simply and clearly:  You must come to know the true God in order to truly worship.  Paul declared:


God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.  (Acts 17:24-31)


In this message in Acts 17, Paul declared that:


            -God is the Creator of the world and all things therein (verse 24).

            -God does not dwell in temples or images made by man (verses 24-25).

            -God gives life and breath to all things (verse 25).

            -God is the supreme being over all nations, having created them and established their        boundaries (verse 26).

            -God’s purpose is that all nations and all people should seek Him, as He is not far from us             (verse 27).

            -God is fully involved in our lives:  In Him we live, move, have our being (verse 28).        -God has claimed us as His offspring (verse 28).

            -God is not like images made in gold, silver, stone, or gods represented by man’s artistic renditions (verse 31).

            -God commands all men everywhere to repent because He has appointed a day of judgment (verse 31).

            -God confirmed the truth of this message through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from     the dead (verse 31). 


The main point of Paul’s message was that it is possible to come to know the true God and learn how to worship Him.







Knowing God is the prerequisite for learning to worship.  It is the prelude to all that follows in this study.  You come to know God by…


Recognizing that man's greatest problem is sin.  In Romans 3:23 we read, "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." The Bible says all people are sinners and sin separates them from God.


Understanding the end results of sin.  "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).  The end result of sin is spiritual death, which is separation from God for eternity in Hell.


Realizing that God loves you and has provided forgiveness for your sins. The Bible says, "This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world ... as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 4:9-10). God loves you so much that He has provided a way for your sins to be forgiven so that you do not have to reap the wages of sin. 


Believing that there is an answer to your sin problem. Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” ( John 14:6).  Acts 4:12 confirms that, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."  Jesus Christ is the answer to your sin problem.  He is the only way to God and the only way to be forgiven.


Accepting and acknowledging Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Romans 10:9 declares, "If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord: and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."   Pray a simple prayer acknowledging your sin, asking, forgiveness, and accepting Jesus as Savior.




When you come to know God through accepting Jesus Christ as Savior, you experience a spiritual rebirth.  The Bible teaches that man is body, soul, and spirit.   When you accept Christ as Savior, the change is a spiritual one (John 3:5-8).  You do not experience a physical change when you receive Christ--you aren’t taller, shorter, heavier, or leaner.  Your spirit is born again.   Here are some basic guidelines for living your new life.


Deal promptly with sin.  When you accepted Jesus as your Savior, He forgave the sins you confessed, but He also cleansed you from all unrighteousness--even those sins you did not remember and acts you did not realize were sin.  You do not need to confess your past sins repeatedly.  Once you pray and ask forgiveness,  your sins  are forgiven and God forgets them.  God says, “... for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jeremiah 31:34).  Part of the daily prayer pattern in Matthew 6:9-13 includes asking forgiveness for sins you commit after receiving Christ.


When your old soulish nature rises up and you sin, it does not mean you weren’t saved.  You do not need to accept Jesus as Savior again.  You simply need to ask God to forgive you and give you strength to overcome future temptations. God has provided a way of escape in every temptation.  Take it! 


No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)


Allow your spirit to rule your flesh. For years, your soul ruled your spirit and your body.  Whatever your soul desired or dictated, you did--whether it be drugs, alcohol,  pornography, immorality, etc.   You did not exercise control over emotions such as anger, unforgiveness, and bitterness.  You went where you wanted to go and did what you wanted to do.  You got to where you are today by doing what you did.  If you want things to change, you must do something different.  You must learn to let your spirit rule.  For years, your unredeemed, sinful, soulish nature has controlled your body and your spirit.  Now you must learn to let your redeemed spirit control your body and your soulish nature (mind, will, and emotions).


Know that repetition of sinful behavior leads to more of the same.  Eventually, certain actions are so entrenched in your life that you cannot stop.  You become enslaved to habitual sin and spiritual strongholds are erected.  This is why you do not want to deliberately sin. Read the struggle the Apostle Paul had in Romans 7:15-21 and the glorious solution in Romans 8. 


Recognize the difference between conviction and condemnation. Condemnation is general.  You think you are a bad person, you can never change, etc. These thoughts come from the enemy to discourage you in your new life.  Conviction is specific and is from the Holy Spirit to reprove you for wrong so you can correct it.  For example, you feel convicted because you lied to someone.  This is the Holy Spirit working in your spirit to help you live out your new life of faith and overcome the flesh.


                                               GROWING IN YOUR NEW FAITH


These basic principles will help you grow in your new faith,


Study the Word of God.  You cannot grow without food. Just as natural food supplies the energy for your physical growth, the Holy Bible is the food which supplies what is needed for your spiritual growth. Your spiritual growth will be in direct proportion to your increasing knowledge of God's Word. Personal Bible study must become part of your daily routine.  Start by reading the book of John. 


Pray.  Use the pattern of the Lord’s prayer to guide you in daily prayer (Matthew 6:9-13).


Attend a Bible-believing church so your new faith will be strengthened.


Make friends with others who are changing their lives through Christ.  Become a peace-maker instead of a trouble maker, a problem-solver instead of a problem.


Live a holy life.  We are commanded to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness (1 Chronicles 16:29 and Psalms 29:2; 96:9).  God imputed His righteousness to you through Jesus Christ when your sins were forgiven.  Holiness  should be the governing principle in every area of your life.  God shares His nature with those who come into His presence through worship, so you must…


Worship God…and that is the subject of the remainder of this manual.  Very often, the church emphasizes service for a new Believer.  While ministry is important, you were created to be a worshipper first.  Learn to worship and let your service flow out of your worship. 


As a child of God, a born-again Believer in Jesus Christ, you are now prepared to learn how to worship.






































1.         Write the key verses.






2.         What is a prelude?






3.         What concerned Paul as he viewed the city of Athens?






4.         With whom did Paul to meet to share the Gospel message?




5.         Summarize the main points in Paul’s message on Mars Hill.
















6.         What was the “bottom line”, the main point of Paul’s message?





7.         List the steps for comi ng to know God.






8.         List the guidelines for living your new life.








9.         List principles for growing in faith.








10.       How will you apply what you learned in this chapter?






            Spend some time in worship when you complete this lesson.


(Answers to Self-Tests are found at the conclusion of this manual.)







If you accepted Jesus Christ as a result of this chapter or you are a new Believer in Christ,

download the free courses "Foundations of Faith" and "Kingdom Living"  available at the Harvestime web site.  Then go through the study entitled "Biblical Theology", also available free at:










Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

            -Define Biblical worship.

            -Explain the difference between thanksgiving, praise, and worship.

            -Summarize key quotes regarding worship.




Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.  (Psalm 100:4-5)




Worship is the purpose for which each true Believer is called:


            You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God,    that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his   wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)


You are chosen to worship God.  To do this, you must understand the meaning of worship and that is the purpose of this chapter which explores the definitions of worship. 




Worship means to attribute worth to someone. It is an active response to God whereby we declare His worth, celebrate Him, and ascribe the glory due to His name.  "To serve" also means "to worship,” so worship includes ministry by serving.


Biblical worship means to do reverence, to kiss, do homage towards, revere, stand in awe of, show devotion, bow down, and honor the one true God as revealed in the Bible.  Worship is the acknowledgment of God, His nature, His attributes, and His ways.


Worship is not an art form, because God will not share His glory with an art form.  Worship is not entertainment, because that is self-centered.  Worship is God-centered.  It is not liturgy, creeds, rituals, vain repetitions, or enforcing a set order of service week after week.  Worship is not distracted endurance of a sermon, mumbling prayers, or singing hymns with little thought or passion.  Worship is not a mood, it is a response.  It is not just a feeling, but it is a declaration.  It is not passive.  It is active.  Worship is both an attitude and an action.


The love of the one true God is the basis for worship:


            Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38)


To love God is your highest calling, and you express that love through your worship.  Worship is your response arising from an intimate relationship with Him.  In short, worship is a celebration of God. 




The English word "worship" comes from two Old English words, weorth, which means "worth," and “scipe” or ship, which means something of like shape or quality.  So worth-ship is the quality of having worth or of being worthy. When we worship, we are saying that God  is worthy, so worship means to declare God’s worth.


The Bible does not give a formal definition of worship. The Hebrew words used in the Old Testament to describe worship include:


Todah:  To lift or extend your hand, adore, offer a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.

This word indicates a conscious choice that takes you beyond your feelings and causes you to praise God no matter what your circumstances.


Yadah:  To hold out the hand, to make an action like throwing, to worship with extended hands.  This is a dimension of praise where you begin to take control over your body and your mind.


Halal:  To praise, rave about, boast about, and to be clamorously foolish in adoration of God.


Shabach: To address in a loud voice, with a voice of triumph


Zamar:  To play a musical instrument, to celebrate in song and music.


Shachah or hishahawah:  This word means to prostrate, bow, or fall down flat in reverence.  Shachah is used most frequently for worship in the Old Testament.


Barak:  To kneel or bow in reverence to God.


Tehillah:  To sing a new song, a spontaneous hymn of praise that glorifies God.






The following Greek words for worship are used in the New Testament.


Proskyneo:  This word refers to paying homage, kneeling or being prostrate to honor the Lord.  It is the most frequently used word for worship in the New Testament, appearing some 54 times.


Sebo:  This word appears  ten times in the New Testament and means “to revere, to worship”.


Eusebeo:  This word appears only once in the New Testament in Acts 17:23.  It means to “act reverently towards God, one’s country, magistrates, relationship, and all of those to whom reverence is due.”


Latreuo:  This word appears 21 times in the New Testament.  It means to “render religious service, to worship, to perform sacred service, offer gifts.”


Pipto:  This word appears only in Matthew 4:9 and Revelation 4:10.  It means “to descend from an erect position to a prostrate position, to fall down, and to prostrate one’s self.”


Here are some words related to worship in Scripture:


Thanksgiving:  To give thanks means to acknowledge, express gratitude, celebrate, and confess.  The psalmist exhorts us to come into God’s presence and enter His gates with thanksgiving (Psalms 95:2; 100:4). He also exhorts us to sing to the Lord with thanksgiving (Psalms 147:7) and offer sacrifices of thanksgiving (Psalms 107:22).


Praise:  Praise means commendation. It is preoccupied with who God is and what He has done, His acts in behalf of His people. The Bible describes praise occurring in many ways.  One of these is to "twitch or twang" as you do a stringed instrument.  Praise includes singing psalms of praise, confessing, blessing, celebrating, boasting about, shouting, and jubilation.  Actually the word "praise" has eight different meanings. Two meanings are very interesting. They are to "release before the Lord" and to be "clamorously foolish.”


Glorify:  To give honor to, admiration rank, beauty.


Honor:  To exalt, show preference.


Magnify:  To ascribe greatness.


There is not a sharp dividing line between thanksgiving, praise, and worship.  As you worship, you may flow easily from one to another, as demonstrated in the book of Psalms.   When you are singing with uplifted hands or dancing before the Lord, you might be praising or worshipping or giving Him thanks. Technically, however, there is a difference between the three:


Thanksgiving focuses on what God has done for you. 


Praise focuses on God, who He is, and His works.


Worship is your ministry of love and adoration of God, reflecting on His worth.


Just as there was a prescribed way to enter the Old Testament tabernacle, there is a proper way to enter God's presence.  You "enter His gates with thanksgiving and come into His courts with praise.”   You move towards the destination of His presence by thanksgiving and praise.  As you  praise, you build a spiritual place for God to come down and inhabit so you can worship Him in spirit and truth:  “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel” (Psalm 22:3).


There is no set line of demarcation, however.  One may flow freely from worship to praise,  praise to thanksgiving, thanksgiving back to praise, praise to worship, etc.  Do not be concerned about whether you are praising or worshipping or giving thanks.  Just do it!




Having explored Biblical words defining worship, let’s examine some expanded definitions that provide additional understanding.


“Worship is when the mind apprehends great truths about God, and the heart kicks in with deep feelings of brokenness or wonder and gladness and admiration and gratitude, and the mouth says something like, ‘Blessed be God! O blessed and praised and honored and glorified be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ …Strong affections for God, rooted in and shaped by the truth of Scripture – this is the bone and marrow of biblical worship…Worship is a way of gladly reflecting back to God the radiance of His worth. This cannot be done by mere acts of duty. It can be done only when spontaneous affections arise in the heart.”  John Piper


“Worship is the submission of all our nature to God.  It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose--and all of this is gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin.”  Dr. William Temple













1.         Write the key verses.





2.         Define Biblical worship.







3.         Explain the difference between thanksgiving, praise, and worship.







4.         Summarize what you learned from the key quotes defining worship.


John Piper_________________________________________________________________




Dr. William Temple_________________________________________________________



5.         How will you apply what you learned about worship in this chapter?



            Spend some time in worship when you complete this lesson.



(Answers to Self-Tests are found at the conclusion of this manual.)







Turn to Appendix One and study the Scriptural references for the words thanks, thanksgiving,  praise, praising, glorify, magnify, and honor.  These are words that describe how you are to worship God. 







Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:


            -Define counterfeit worship.

            -Identify and reject false worship including:

                        -Satanic worship.

                        -False religions.


                        -Meaningless traditions.

                        -Mixed worship practices.

                        -Offering unacceptable sacrifices.

                        -Insincere worship.

                        -Worship of man.

                        -Worshipping angels.

                        -Prideful worship.

                        -Ignorant worship.

                        -Any worship contrary to the Word of God.




            Thou shalt have no other gods before me.  (Exodus 20:3)




In a discussion on worship which you will study in the next chapter, Jesus revealed that… “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).  By virtue of this statement that God must be worshipped in truth, it indicates that there are also forms of counterfeit, false, erroneous worship. 


It takes both positive and negative forces  to produce electrical power in the natural world.  The same is true in the spiritual world. This chapter deals with the negatives of worship--false worship which counterfeits worship of the one true God.  Having dealt with this, when you move on to study true worship you will experience positive truths that will take you beyond the point of blessing into the realm of power.








False worship is a broad category of attitudes, acts, and doctrines which honor objects, persons, beliefs, or anything other than the one true God. It includes worship of Satan, false religions, idolatry and the occult. Other Biblical examples of false worship include trusting in meaningless rituals and traditions, mixed worship practices, offering unacceptable sacrifices, insincere worship, worship of man, worship of angels, prideful worship, ignorant worship, and any type of worship that is contrary to the Word of God.  Let’s take a look at these.




God created all things:


All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. (John 1:3)


For by Him were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him and for Him.  (Colossians 1:16)


God does not create evil.  Lucifer (Satan) was perfect when he was originally created by God, but he was given a free will to choose good or evil:


Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created till iniquity was found in thee.  (Ezekiel 28:15)


The Bible describes the original position of Lucifer in Ezekiel 28:12-17. When he was created, he was one of the Cherubim class of angels, holy, wise, beautiful, and perfect.  He was the leader among the cherubs and is called a "guardian" or "covering" cherub. His original name,  Lucifer, means "light bearer" (Isaiah 14:12).  He was decked with precious stones set in gold (Ezekiel 28:13; Exodus 28:15-11). He was given a position on God's holy mountain and apparently led in worship (Ezekiel 28:13).


Lucifer did not retain this glorious position however.  The Bible describes his rebellion and fall from Heaven:


How art thou fallen from Heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning.  How art thou cut down to the ground which didst waken the nations. For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north;  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to Hell, to the sides of the pit.

(Isaiah 14:12-15)



Thine heart was  lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hadst corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness. (Ezekiel 28:17)


Lucifer’s fall from his angelic position occurred because of pride and rebellion demonstrated in five wrong attitudes.  He declared:


I will ascend unto Heaven:  He wanted to occupy the abode of God--Heaven--desiring equal recognition.


I will exalt my throne above the angels (stars) of God: He not only desired to occupy God's abode, but he also coveted His rule over the angelic hosts.


I will sit also upon the mountain of the congregation:  According to Isaiah 2:2 and Psalms 48:2, this was the center of God's earthly rule.  Satan desired to rule the earth as well as Heaven.


I will ascend above the heights of the clouds:  The clouds speak of the glory of God.  Satan wanted God's glory for himself.  (These verses document clouds in relation to the glory of God:  Exodus 13:21; 40-28-34; Job 37-15-16; Matthew 26:64; Revelation 14:14-16).


I will be like the Most High: God has many names by which He is called.  Why did Satan choose  this particular  name?  He selected it because it reflects God as "possessor of Heaven and earth."


Lucifer coveted the power, glory, and worship that rightfully belongs to God.  He persuaded a portion of God’s angels to join him, and they were cast out of Heaven because of their rebellion which was all about worship.


Lucifer (Satan), and his evil angels (demons) are present in this world in spirit form:


And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou?  Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.  (Job 1:7)


Be  sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.  (I Peter 5:8)


The activities of Satan are always directed against God, His plan, and His people. He will attack you in the areas of your worship of God, the Word of God, your Christian walk, and your work for God.  You will learn more about worship and spiritual warfare later in this course, but for now the key point is this:  Satan wants to be worshipped.  That was the overwhelming desire that led to his original downfall and it is still his goal.


Satan has a church.  Satan has organized his evil forces to imitate the organization of the true church of God. There is actually a "The Church of Satan" also known as "Spiritualists."



God established the true church which is known as the "Body of Christ" of which Jesus is the head:


Now ye are the Body of Christ, and members in particular... (1 Corinthians 12:27)


But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is

the head, even Christ:  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

(Ephesians 4:15-16)


The Bible calls Satan’s church "a synagogue of Satan" (Revelation 2:9).  The name "synagogue of Satan" is not always openly used to identify his church, but his synagogue is established anywhere the true Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is not preached.


Satan has a doctrine.  The doctrine of Satan is called the "doctrine of demons":


Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.

(1 Timothy 4:1)


One category of demons is called "seducing spirits." Their specific job is to seduce men into doctrinal error. The "doctrine of demons" is any teaching presented as truth which does not agree with the written Word of God.


The Bible is filled with the true doctrines of God revealed by the Holy Spirit:


All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine...

 (2 Timothy 3:16)


Satan has a system of sacrifice.  In Romans 12:1, we are told to present ourselves to God as a living sacrifice. This means we are to surrender in total allegiance to God. Satan demands sacrifices also:


But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

(1 Corinthians 10:20)


Satan demands total allegiance of body, soul, and spirit. There are actually services of sacrifice where men and women dedicate themselves to Satan and the blood sacrifice of humans and animals is practiced.


Satan has a communion service.  The sharing of the communion bread and wine is done to remember Christ’s sacrifice for the sins of all mankind on the cross (1 Corinthians 11:23-34). Satan counterfeits this by his own communion.  Paul warns:


Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils; ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. (1 Corinthians 10:20)


Satan has his throne. God has a throne in Heaven. Satan also has a throne, although we are not told its exact location:


And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon (Satan) gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. (Revelation 13:2)


Satan has worshippers.  There are many who worship the true God. Satan also has worshippers:


...and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast?...

(Revelation 13:4)


Some worshippers of Satan pretend to be followers of Jesus:


The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;  The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. (Matthew 13:38-39)


Satan has ministers.  God has Believers who serve as pastors and teachers to proclaim the Gospel (1 Corinthians 12:28). Satan also has ministers:


And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the

ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

(2 Corinthians 11:14-15)


Satan's ministers proclaim his gospel.  The "gospel" of Satan is contrary to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ:


Which is not another, but there be some that trouble you and would pervert the Gospel of Christ.  But though we or an angel from Heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:7-8)


Satan has prophets. God has set in the Church prophets, men and women who are especially anointed to bring a direct message from Him to the Church (1 Corinthians 12:28). Satan has false prophets who deliver counterfeit messages:


            And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. (Matthew 24:11)



Satan has teachers.  God has anointed some Believers as teachers to share and explain His Word to others (1 Corinthians 2:28).  Satan has false teachers to spread his evil doctrine:


But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you... (2 Peter 2:1-3)


Satan has apostles.  An apostle of the Lord is a person who spreads the Gospel and establishes churches (1 Corinthians 12:28). Satan also has apostles doing his work throughout the world. They deceive people by imitating true apostles:


For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  (2 Corinthians 11:13)


Satan's apostles become leaders of false cults and infiltrate churches in leadership capacities.


Satan imitates Jesus through false christs.  Satan imitates the Lord Jesus Christ by raising up false Christs. Jesus warned:


...Take heed, that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (Matthew 24:4-5)


Satan has a system of communication.  Satan communicates through occult practices and witchcraft. This includes using spells, potions, charms, magic, rituals, séances, divinations, methods of chance, divining rods, reading tea leaves, bumps on the head, palms of the hand, crystal balls, visions, and drawings.  Other unscriptural methods of receiving guidance are astrology and horoscope which use stars to predict events and give guidance.  The prophet Zephaniah condemned those who “worship the host of heaven” (Zephaniah 1:5).


Satan has supernatural powerJesus promised supernatural power to His followers (Acts 1:8).  Satan also gives people supernatural power and authority (Revelation 13:2).  Satan can perform many supernatural signs and miracles:  “For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles...” (Revelation 16:14).


Jesus said:


Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:22-23)







The Apostle Paul declared:


For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  (Ephesians 6:12)


When Paul speaks of "spiritual wickedness in high places", he is referring to wicked spirits who have infiltrated the religious systems of the world and formed false religions and cults.  The word “occult" means to "hide or conceal a thing." Cults are part of the occult, those who hide and conceal evil behind the cloak of religion. False religions are those that do not accept and abide by the Word of God, do not accept the Trinity of God, and reject salvation through Jesus Christ.  They often have a founder whose false teachings are equated with or exalted above God’s Word.


The Apostle Paul warned:


This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:1-7)


These are the characteristics of those who propagate false religions.  Their religions have a form of godliness, but deny God’s power.  They are ever learning, but never come to the knowledge of the truth in Jesus Christ.  They deny the authenticity and authority of the Word of God. 


The basic criteria for identifying a false religion is simple:  If Jesus Christ is not acknowledged as the Son of God and Savior of the World, the doctrine is false (1 John 2:22).  If the Bible is not accepted as the one and only authoritative Word of God, the religion is false (John 17:17).  You may be sincere and worship sincerely, but if you are in a cult or a false religion, then your worship is counterfeit because you are not worshipping in truth.




The first and most important commandment of God is clear:


Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them. (Exodus 20:3-5)


The commandment does not forbid artistic talent like making sculptures, pictures, statues, etc., but it prohibits making and using images and artifacts for the purpose of worship.  The problem is when the symbol becomes a substitute for or takes the place of God.

To violate the first commandment to have no other gods is called idolatry, which means worshipping something other than the true God. Idolatry includes worship of visible objects such as statues, idols, and images. It includes worship of creation including the worship of the sun, moon, stars, trees, rivers, hills, stones, and powers of nature.  It includes hero worship, worship of man, and the worship of deceased ancestors.  Idolatry also includes worshipping false deities known as “other gods” in the Bible.

Idolatry began when men found it difficult to worship a God they could not see, so they made something visible to represent Him.  Paul describes the origin of idolatry in Romans 1:21-25.  Men forsook the true God and sank into spiritual ignorance, corruption, and idolatry. 

The first reference to idolatry is in the account of Rachel stealing her father's teraphim, relics used in the worship of false gods (Genesis 31:19).  During their long residence in Egypt, many Israelites embraced idolatry. They turned to an idol when they thought Moses had abandoned them in the wilderness.  Later, when Israel entered their Promised Land, they came into contact with the idolatrous monuments and practices of the Canaanites. They were instructed to destroy all traces of idolatry, but failed to do so.  Many judgments came upon the nation over the years because of this great national sin. 

One of the most frequent issues involving false worship in Old Testament times was with fertility deities—referred to as the Baals and Ashtaroths—the male and female representations of reproduction and growth. The Old Testament Baal was a false god also represented in many manifestations of idols known as the Baals or the Baalim.  The word "Baal" means owner or master.  The Bible says that you will be mastered and owned--controlled and enslaved--by what you worship.  Many forms of this false worship involved sexual acts.  During the time of Assyrian power in the ancient world, the Israelites began to think that the Assyrian gods were more powerful than their God, so they began to worship them.


Associated with this type of worship was the prevalent view in Old Testament times that each god had his own territory and that he was relatively powerless outside that region. Perhaps the most direct indication of this is in the story of Naaman in 2 Kings 5.  After Naaman was cured of his leprosy, he requested two loads of dirt from Israel to take home with him to Syria so that he could worship the true God, believing He was associated with the land of Israel.  Emperor worship was also a serious challenge in the days of the early church, and sun worship became widespread.

Idolatry has personal, national, and international consequences.  The person who worships an idol will become like what he worships and is devoid of a personal relationship with the true God.  The nation that is bound in idolatry as Israel was will not fulfill their God-given purpose and this has international consequences because others nations will be left without a witness to the truths of the Gospel.

Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:  They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them. (Psalm 115:4-8 )

You may live in a nation where idols are actually visible and people bow down and worship them.  But that is not the only form of idolatry.  Idolatry is a passion for anything or anyone that draws you away from worshipping the true God.

You may not have an idol on the shelf, but you may be making entertainment (video, TV, movies, Internet, social media) your God.  Others give more allegiance to sports, hobbies, their jobs, and material possessions than they do to God.   Others worship creation.  You may not sacrifice to idols, but if you are more passionate about sacrificing your time and money to these things then they have become idols in your life. 

Entertainment is not wrong in itself.  Possessions are not wrong.  The problem arises when these things are more important to you and you are more passionate about them that you are about God.  Their importance can be measured by how much time you spend on these things compared to the time you spend on the things of God.  Here are four questions that will help you identify idols in your life.  Ask yourself:

            -Where do I spend my time?

            -Where do I spend my money? 
            -Where do I get my joy? 
            -What is always on my mind? 


The bottom line is this:  Whenever anyone or anything usurps the place that God should have in your life, you are guilty of idolatry.


All rituals and traditions are not bad. God has given Believers some important sacred traditions, including taking communion to commemorate His death and water baptism to confirm new life in Christ.  Paul said we should stand fast in the traditions taught in the Word (2 Thessalonians 2:15).   


Some denominations have  beautiful traditions, but others have many rituals, a highly structured service, a liturgy with carefully worded prayers, responsive readings, reciting creeds, and other similar repetitions that have become meaningless and hinder the flow of true worship.  These are the “traditions of men” against which Jesus warned.  He repeatedly addressed the Pharisees about  meaningless rituals, making it clear that traditions can be contrary to God’s Word.  He questioned:  “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?”  (Matthew 15:3).  Jesus declared:


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. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 

(Matthew 15:7-9)


The Pharisees were equating their traditions with the doctrines of God. They considered them sacred.  Jesus said told them that by “…laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition” (Mark 7:8-9).


One tragic ritual is that of self-abasement, severe treatment of one’s body for alleged spiritual purposes.  In some instances, people have even driven nails into their hands and feet, symbolic of the cross of Christ.  Jesus Christ suffered once and for all to take away the sins of all mankind.  Self-abasement is meaningless, dangerous, and nothing spiritual is achieved by it:


Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?  Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. (Colossians 2:20-23)


Isaiah 1:13 and 15 speaks of “worthless worship”.  You can determine if traditions are meaningful by asking these questions:

            -Does the tradition glorify God?

            -Does it build up the Body of Christ?

            -Does it have practical results in your life?

            -Does it remain relevant?

            -Does it have a scriptural precedent?

            -Does it allow for personal liberty in worship?




Mixed worship is when worship is combined with other religious practices that are not scriptural.  The Jews were guilty of this when King Jeroboam … “made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt” (1 Kings 12:28).  The golden calf was set up to discourage the people from going to Jerusalem to worship.  To combine this symbol with worship of the true God who delivered Israel from Egyptian bondage was abominable.


A similar practice was evident in the time of the Prophet Elijah. In his confrontation with the false prophets of Baal, Elijah asked the people. “How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him”, indicating that they had been combining worship of Baal and the true God (1 Kings 18:21).


Worship of the true God cannot be combined with anything else, including things like ancestor worship, idolatrous holidays, and shamanism.






In Old Testament times, animals that were impaired in any way were unacceptable sacrifices to offer to God.  The people were to sacrifice their best. The prophet told Israel:


Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the Lord is contemptible. And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the Lord of hosts.

(Malachi 1:6-8)


Unacceptable sacrifices for New Testament Believers is when you offer God less than your best, whether in be in worship, giving, or service.  David made it clear that we should not offer God something which costs us nothing (2 Samuel 24:24).




Isaiah 29:13 speaks of people who drew near to God with their mouths, but had removed their hearts far from God.  This is insincere worship.


A classic example is found in 1 Samuel 13.  Saul was told to wait for Samuel to arrive to offer a sacrifice but, as the people became impatient and began to scatter, Saul offered a burnt offering himself.  This act was contrary to the commands of God.  When Samuel arrived, he told Saul that he had done foolishly and, as a result,  he would lose the kingdom.  Saul’s response was to admit his sin, but instead of true repentance he asked Samuel to join him in worshipping the Lord so that he could be honored in the sight of the people.  His motives were wrong, his worship insincere. 


The Pharisees of New Testament times were also insincere worshippers.  They performed many of their religious rituals to be seen by man (Matthew 6:1-5).




If any person—be it a relative, friend, mentor, Christian leader, or hero—is more important to you than God, then you are worshipping man.  Romans 1 makes it clear that because people do not worship God they eventually end up worshipping and serving the creature rather than the Creator.


Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.  (Romans 1:21-25)


The worship of man includes the worship of the spirits of dead relatives. Prayers and offerings are made to ancestors because it is believed that their spirits live on in the natural world and are able to influence the futures and fortunes of their living relatives. Ancestors’ spirits are also thought to act as mediators between the living and their Creator.  Ancestors are believed to influence the lives of later generations by blessing or cursing them, so it is thought to be important to pray to them, present them with gifts, and make offerings to appease them and gain their favor. 


All of these beliefs are contrary to the Word of God.  The Bible tells us that the spirits of the dead go to heaven or hell.  They do not remain in the natural world (Luke 16:20-31;

2 Corinthians 5:6-10; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 20:11-15). The belief that spirits continue to reside on earth after death and influence the lives of others is not scriptural.


In addition, nowhere in the Bible are we told that the dead act as intermediaries between God and man.  Jesus Christ has that role.  He sits at the right hand of the Father where He intercedes on  behalf of those who have placed their faith and trust in Him (Acts 26:23; Romans 1:2-5; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 1:3-4). There is only one Mediator between God and man, and that is God’s Son, Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 8:6, 9:15, 12:24).


Diviners and sorcerers were thought to be able to contact the dead, and this practice was forbidden by God (Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 19:32, 20:6, 27; Deuteronomy 18:10-11; Jeremiah 27:9-10).  Ancestor worship is wrong because it goes against specific warnings in the Bible and it seeks to replace Jesus Christ as the Divine Mediator between God and mankind.


Worship of man also includes the worship of saints, men and women of excellent Christian character who have passed on into eternity.  But Scripture shows living saints (a word for true Believers) refusing to accept worship (Acts 10:25; 14:8-18).  Bowing before statues of these saints, worshipping them, or praying to them is idolatry. The biblical command is clear:  Worship God.




Angels themselves refuse the worship of men (Revelation 19:10; 22:8-9).  The Apostle Paul warned Believers in the Colossian church about avoiding the worship of angels (Colossians 2:18).  The angels who desire worship are actually demons who disguise themselves as angels of light  (2 Corinthians 11:13-14).  We can learn about the good angels,  appreciate their ministries, and admire their example of worship, but we are not to worship them. 




Pride was the original sin of Satan.  Perhaps that is why God hates pride (Proverbs 6:16-17).  Jesus denounced the manifestation of pride in spiritual practices:


Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.  (Luke 18:10-14)


Prideful worship includes considering your way of worshipping superior to that of others and to the mandates for worship in God’s Word.




When Paul came to the city of Athens, he was appalled to find an altar to the unknown god.   He said:


For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. (Acts 17:23)


Then Paul proceeded to reveal to them the true God. 


Jesus told the woman at the well, “You don’t know what you worship” (John 4:22).  Then He explained to her that God seeks those who worship in spirit and in truth.




We have covered major types of counterfeit worship in this chapter, but the bottom line is this: Any form of worship contrary to the Word of God is wrong. This is aptly illustrated by an account in Leviticus: 


And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.  (Leviticus 10:1-2)


These men did this as an act of worship, but it was not biblical there were dire consequences.  Under the New Testament era of grace, such drastic judgment may not be manifested, but worship contrary to biblical guidelines is still unacceptable before God.


False worship also includes trusting in military power or any power instead of God.  The prophet declared:



Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!  (Isaiah 31:1)


God instructed the kings of Israel not to have chariots or multiply horses, as these were used by other nations in warfare at that time (Deuteronomy 17:16).  They were to trust in God rather than these things.  David declared:


Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright. Save, Lord: let the king hear us when we call. (Psalm 20:7-9)


The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.  (Psalm 68:17)


Another type of false worship is to worship one’s own works.  When you think your deeds will secure your salvation and God’s favor, then your works have become your idols.  God charged Israel with provoking Him with the works of their hands.


And the Lord hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear. They said, Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the Lord hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever:  And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt.  Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the Lord; that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.  (Jeremiah 25:4-7)






















1.         Write the key verse.






2.         Summarize what this chapter revealed about the counterfeit worship of:






False religions_____________________________________________________________








Meaningless traditions______________________________________________




Mixed worship practices_____________________________________________________




Offering unacceptable sacrifices_______________________________________________




Insincere worship__________________________________________________________




Worship of man____________________________________________________________




Worshipping angels_________________________________________________________





Prideful worship___________________________________________________________




Ignorant worship___________________________________________________________




Any worship contrary to the Word of God__________________________________.




3.          Summarize the warnings in the following verses:

             Deuteronomy 18:10-12; Leviticus 17:7; 19:31; 20:16.










4.         How will you apply what you learned about worship in this chapter?




Before moving on to the next lesson, review the subheadings of this chapter to see if there are any counterfeit worship practices in your life.  If so, repent and ask God to forgive you. Spend some time in worship when you complete this lesson.


(Answers to Self-Tests are found at the conclusion of this manual.)


















Study the consequences of counterfeit worship--of worshipping idols, false gods, and anything other than the true God.  Those who engage in counterfeit worship:


-Will not inherit the Kingdom of God:  Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.


-Will become an idolater: 1 Corinthians 10:6-10.


-Will fail to experience God’s power:  2 Timothy 3:5.


-Are detestable to God:  Titus 1:16.


-Are fools, their thinking is futile, their mind is confused, and their heart is darkened:   

  Romans 1:18-21,25.


-Are seduced: 1 Corinthians 12;2; Mark 13:22.


-Will cry out for help, but there will be none:  Jeremiah 11:12.


-Will turn against God: Romans 1:28-31.


-Will face judgment:  Ezekiel 20:7-8; Colossians 3:5-6.


-Will experience ruin:  Hosea 8:14.


-Will be sentenced to Hell:  Revelation 21:8.

























Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

            -Summarize John 4:9-26 as it relates to worship.

            -Explain what it means to worship in Spirit.

            -Explain what it means to worship in truth.

            -Summarize what the Bible says is truth.

            -Summarize what the Believer’s response should be to the truth.




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)




According to the key verses of this lesson, in order for worship to be acceptable to God it must be done "in spirit and in truth.”  What does it mean to worship in spirit and truth? 


Jesus told the religious leaders of His time...”Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures or the power of God” (Matthew 22:29).  The "Scriptures" reflect the truth of our worship.  The "power of God" reflects worship which is done in the power of the Holy Spirit. 


Just as the Word of God and the power of God are necessary for proper understanding of spiritual things, spirit and truth are necessary for acceptable worship.  To understand what Jesus was saying about worship, let us examine the circumstances in which He presented this teaching. 




Jesus was on the way to Galilee and He was determined to go through Samaria, despite the fact this was not the shortest route to His destination. He told His Disciples that He "needed" to go that way.  The reason?  He had a divine appointment. 


Jesus was resting by a well while His disciples went into the city to buy food when a woman came to draw water.  She was obviously poor since she had no servant to get water for her, but she was even poorer spiritually. Jesus asked the woman for a drink of water and the following conversation ensued:


Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. 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. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 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. The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

(John 4:9-26)


Jesus immediately addressed the barriers which would prevent this woman from receiving spiritual help.  The first barrier was the fact that the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans.  Jesus told the woman, "If thou knewest…you would ask of me" (John 4:10). You must worship from a position of knowing.  Accurate knowledge (truth) results in understanding who the Lord is and leads to true worship.  This knowledge comes from God Himself through His Word.


The woman told Jesus, "You have nothing to draw with to give me this water.”  She was viewing things in the natural, visible world only.  She was concerned because there was "nothing to draw with" when the source of the living water was right there with her.  Like this woman, many of us focus on the impossibilities of life, not realizing that we are in the presence of the miracle- worker.  The life Jesus gives results in worship which quenches spiritual thirst by springing up from deep inside your spirit.


But there were other barriers Jesus had to eliminate before this woman could understand and respond in true worship.  Jesus addressed the problem of  how she had been trying to fill the spiritual void within her by relationships (verses 13-19).  You will be frustrated in relationships, your personal life, and your church until you become a true worshipper. 



Jesus was dealing with this woman's spiritual condition, but she attempted to change the conversation to a discussion of the differences between the worship of the Jews and that of Samaritans.  She wanted to argue about doctrine.  Jesus responded that the Samaritans worshipped with spirit, but without truth (verses 19-24).  In the time of Ezra and Nehemiah the Samaritans were not allowed to help Israel rebuild the temple, so they built their own temple on Mount Gerizim where they believed Abraham offered Isaac and where Jacob's dream occurred.  This is where they worshipped. They were enthusiastic in their worship, but devoid of the truth of God’s Word.


The Jews worshipped in truth (the law), but with no spirit.  Jesus, who was a Jew, said "We know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews."  The Jews understood the truth, but many of them were legalistic, hypocritical, and ritualistic. They went through the motions and legalities of worship, but their hearts were not in it. 


Jesus declared that worship was no longer limited to a specific place like a church building, although we should not forsake assembling as a corporate body to worship (Hebrews 10:25a).  He declared that when you become a  true worshipper, you do not have to go looking for God because He is seeking you.  God seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and truth:


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)




Man is a triune being:  He is body, soul, and spirit.  Worshipping in spirit is worship that flows from your spirit and is empowered by the Spirit of God.  Because you are a triune being, you worship with your spirit, soul, and body--your whole being. You worship from the inside out.  The psalmist declared, “Bless the Lord O my soul, and all that is within me...”(Psalms l03:l).


Worshipping in spirit requires that you are born-again, because you must have the Holy Spirit residing within you in order to truly worship: 


For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. (Philippians 3:3)


The only people who can truly worship God are those who have had their hearts circumcised by the Holy Spirit (Romans 2:29).  This means they no longer rely on their flesh in worship, ministry, or lifestyle.  They rely on God’s Spirit.


You can only worship in Spirit by remaining open to correction and being quick to repent when you sin. When King David’s heart was flooded with guilt over his sin with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11), he found it impossible to worship. He felt that God was far from him (Psalm 32:3-4).   But when David confessed and repented of his sin, his fellowship with God was restored and worship


and praise poured forth from him. Worship cannot flow from a heart filled with unconfessed sin.

Because worship flows from your spirit which is empowered by the Holy Spirit, it is important to rule your spirit:


He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. (Proverbs l6:32)


 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.  (Proverbs 25:28)


The Apostle Paul admonishes:


            For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit        which are God's.  (1 Corinthians 6:20)


Paul also speaks of “serving God with my spirit” (Romans 1:9). Isaiah speaks of seeking the Lord with "my spirit within me" (Isaiah 26:9).


The baptism of the Holy Spirit with the accompanying sign of unknown tongues enables you to engage in Spirit-led worship:


             ...I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also; I will sing with   the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. (1 Corinthians l4:14-l5)


The Holy Spirit within you energizes worship from your spirit.  R.T. Kendall notes “As genuine revival only comes by the Holy Spirit, so too does true worship.  The Holy Spirit is as essential to one as the other.”  We will discuss the Holy Spirit and worship further in Chapter Twenty on Spirit-Led Worship.




Truth means to uncover, open up, and refuse to hide. To be true, truth must meet three criteria:

            -It must be universal:  It must apply to everyone.

            -It must be uniform:  It must apply to everyone in the same manner.  The criteria is the     same  for old and young, rich and poor, and regardless of ethnicity and culture.

            -It must be unending:  It must be eternally valid.


The Word of God meets all three criteria.  One who worships in truth will do so on the basis of God’s Word rather than the traditions of men.  Worship is a response to God built upon the truth of His Word.


Worshipping in truth is a positive response to the truths of Scripture.  To truly worship God, you must understand His attributes and His works--who He is and what He does--and His Word is where He reveals this to you.  True worship is worship of the one true God and is based on His Word, the Holy Bible.


We worship on the basis of truth, not on the basis of facts.  Facts and truth are not the same in the spiritual world.  All facts do not support truth.  For example, the doctor may tell you that you have a terminal disease that will result in death.  That is a medical fact.  But if you are a true Believer, the truth is that you can be healed by God’s power and that you will live forever in eternity.  We worship by faith which is based upon the truth of God’s Word.  Truth is always factual, but facts are not always truthful.


Biblical worship is a response to the truth which is revealed in the Word of God.  Worship is an expression of praise from the depths of your spirit to a God who you come to know through the revelation in His Word.  The psalmist declared:


O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. (Psalm 43:3-5)


The light of the truth of the Word brings you into God’s holy presence.  The truth of the Word is knowledge gained through prayer, meditation, and study of the Word.


The truth of God’s Word is vital in corporate worship. Clever sermons may move emotions with  interesting stories and funny comments.  People may say, "That was a good message.”  But are they responding to the truth of God’s Word by worshipping?  This is why teachers and preachers must  be committed to the expository teaching and preaching of God's Word which inspires the transformation that is necessary for true worship.


The early church continued steadfastly in doctrine (Acts 2:42).  Paul told Timothy to read and exhort based on doctrine (1 Timothy 4:l3).  Colossians 3:l6-l7 emphasizes the importance of the Word of God.  When Paul saw the people at Mars Hill worshiping, he knew it was unacceptable because it was not based on knowing.  They were  "ignorantly worshipping" (Acts l7:23).  It is important to be grounded in the truth and the knowledge of God because there is a “spirit of error” in the world that will try to abort “the spirit of truth.”

The Bible states that there are those who are ever learning, but never coming to the knowledge of the truth  (2 Timothy 3:7).  The eternal question asked by Pilate is:  “What is truth?” (John 18:38).  The Bible reveals the following regarding the truth.


            God is truth.

                        -He lives in truth.

                        -His eyes are upon the truth.

                        -His paths are true.

                        -His works are true.

                        -His Word is true.

                        -His counsel is true.

                        -His grace is true.

                        -He reveals truth.

                        -He judges on the basis of truth.

                        -His truth is eternal and unlimited.

                        -He wants all men to know the truth.

                        -He approves your ministry on the basis of truth.

                        -He begot you in truth.          


            Jesus is truth.

                        -He is truth manifested in flesh.

                        -He is the true light.

                        -He is the true bread.

                        -He is the true vine.

                        -He is full of truth.

                        -He is a faithful and true witness.

                        -He bore record of the truth, meaning that He spoke the truth.

                        -He is the way and the truth.

                        -Truth came by Him.

                        -Truth was in Him.


            The Holy Spirit is truth. He is called the Spirit of Truth.


            The Word of God is truth.


            The Fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth, therefore it is true.


            The anointing of God is truth.


Our response to truth is that we are to...


-Be rooted and grounded in it.

-Be preserved by it.

-Call on Him in truth.

-Be led by it.

-Serve God in truth.

-Walk in truth.

-Fellowship in it.

-Speak the truth.

-Keep it.

-Rightly divide it.

-Acknowledge it.

-Lie not against it.

-Not err from it.

-Teach it.

-Think on it.

-Love it.

-Rejoice in it.

-Be established in it.

-Praise God with it.

-Act upon it by obeying it and allowing it to purge iniquity.

Graham Kendrick notes:

 “Worship in truth is worship that arises out of an actual encounter with God, a response to the experience of knowing God’s real presence and activity in our daily lives. This has nothing to do with sentiment, thinking religious thoughts or having aesthetic experiences in church buildings.  Any religion can give you that sort of thing.”



To worship in spirit is to allow the Holy Spirit to move upon your redeemed spirit, causing adoration, devotion, honor, love, and respect to ascend from your spirit to God.  To worship in truth is to worship according to the Word of God and to properly respond to its truths.  Thus, worship in spirit and in truth is when a Believer honors and adores God by the quickening of the Holy Spirit according to the Word of God.


The Holy Spirit and the Word of God are both needed in order for true worship to occur.  If the Holy Spirit is not present, then worship is dead and lifeless.  If there is no Word, then worship becomes mere emotionalism or ritual.


“Truth means that worship is not just an emotional experience.  Unless it is based on the truth of God’s Word, then all we have is a soothing sentimental feeling. And that kind of experience will neither last nor promote the spiritual growth God desires for us.” 

Dr. Charles Stanley





















1.         Write the key verses.





2.         Summarize John 4:9-26 as it relates to worship.







3.         Explain what it means to worship in spirit.







4.         Explain what it means to worship in truth.







5.         Summarize what the Bible says is truth.





6.         Summarize what the Believer’s response should be to the truth of God’s Word.





7.         How will you apply what you learned about worship in this chapter?




            Spend some time in worship when you complete this lesson.

(Answers to Self-Tests are found at the conclusion of this manual.)





Continue your study of John chapter 4l, as it is basic to understanding worship in spirit and truth.  Using verses 7-30, answer the following questions regarding Jesus and the woman at the well:

            -Where was the woman from?  (7)

            -For what purpose had the woman come?  (7)

            -What did Jesus request of the woman?  (7)

            -Where were the disciples during this encounter?  (8)

            -What did the woman ask Jesus and what did she point out to Him?  (9)

            -What was Christ's answer in verse 10?

            -What questions did the woman ask in verses 11-12?

            -What was Christ's answer in verses 13-14?

            -What was the woman's request in verse 15?

            -Review verses 10-15  and summarize what you learn about Living Water.

            -What did Jesus ask the woman to do in verse 16?

            -What was her response in verse 17?

            -How did Jesus address the woman's response regarding her husband in verses 17-18?

            -What did the woman say concerning Jesus in verse 19?

            -What statement did the woman make regarding worship in verse 20?        

            -What do you learn about worship in verses 20-26?

            -What did Jesus teach about worship in verses 21-24?

            -What statement did the woman make in verse 25, and how did Jesus respond to it                          in verse 26?

            -Who returned in verse 27, why were they surprised, and what did they refrain from

              asking Jesus?

            -What did the woman do next?  (28-29)

            -What was the response of the people of Samaria to the woman's testimony?  (30)

Review verses 9- 42 and record the progressive revelations regarding the identity of Jesus as reflected in the following verses.

            -The woman first called Jesus a ______ (9), part of a race against whom she was                             prejudice

            -The woman saw Jesus as a ______.  She called Him sir.  (15)

            -The woman stated that Jesus was a ______ (19)

            -The woman realized He was ______ (29)

            -He was recognized as ____, the __________________ (42).

What did the disciples ask Jesus to do and what was His answer?  (30-31)

Summarize what Jesus said regarding spiritual harvest in verses 35-38.

What was the response of the Samaritans to Jesus?  (39a)

Why did the Samaritans initially believe in Jesus?  (39b)

What did the Samaritans ask Jesus to do?  (40)

How long did Jesus remain with the Samaritans?  (40)

What did the Samaritans say to the woman who told them about Jesus?  (42)











Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

            -Discuss pre-creation worship.

            -Summarize what the Bible teaches about worship at the time of creation.

            -Summarize what the Bible teaches about worship in Genesis.

            -Discuss worship in the book of Job.

            -Summarize worship in Exodus prior to the Tabernacle era.




For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.  (Romans 15:4)




This chapter is one of six discussing worship in the Old Testament.  This chapter details pre-creation worship, worship in the eras of Genesis and Job, and worship in the time of the Exodus prior to the construction of the Tabernacle.




Worship occurred in heaven prior to the creation of the world, continues today, and will extend throughout eternity.  God created all things in heaven and on earth, including angels.  Among these angels was Lucifer, whose story is recorded in in Ezekiel 28:12-17 and about whom you studied in chapter four on “Counterfeit Worship”. 


When Lucifer (Satan) rebelled and sinned against God, he lost his glorious position. The Bible describes his rebellion and fall:


How art thou fallen from Heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning.  How art thou cut down to the ground which didst waken the nations.  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into Heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north;   I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to Hell, to the sides of the pit. (Isaiah 14:12-15)



Satan's fall from his angelic position occurred because of pride.  He desired to occupy the abode of God.  He wanted to be exalted above the angels, to be ruler of heaven and earth, and to ascend above the Most High.  The bottom line is: Satan wanted to be worshipped.  As a result, he was cast out of heaven along with the angels who rebelled with him.




The book of Genesis in the Holy Bible is referred to as the book of beginnings.  It records the creation of the world, of man and woman, the formation of nations, the beginning of sin, and  God's plan for salvation. 


The first chapter of Genesis describes the creation of the world.  The Bible reveals that the “morning stars” (the angels) sang and shouted praises at the time of creation.  We learn this from a passage where God questioned the patriarch Job asking:


Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;  When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:4-7).


The opening chapters of Genesis introduce the God we worship who is the maker of heaven and earth. 






The second chapter of Genesis describes the creation of mankind.  Genesis 2:7 states that man was created by God from the dust of the earth. God breathed into man the breath of life, and he became a living soul.  God decided it was not good for Adam to be alone, so He created the first woman who was named Eve.  Genesis 2:22-27 documents that He created both male and female in His image.


God met with His new friends in the beautiful Garden, walking and talking with them daily.  They lived in the context and atmosphere of true worship in the presence of their Creator.


“Worship is the full reason for our existence.  Worship is why we were born and why we are born again.”  A.W. Tozer








Sadly, Adam and Eve yielded to temptation by Satan, and sinned against God.  You can read the tragic story in Genesis 3:1-13.  They departed from their primary purpose of worshipping and fellowshipping with their God.  In order to restore mankind to relationship with his Creator, God established these foundational principles:


            -The soul that sins shall die: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20).


            -Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin: “And almost all things are     by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

            (Hebrews 9:22).


These foundational principles are repeated throughout the entire Biblical record.  If we are to be restored to worship God, then sin must be dealt with through a blood sacrifice.  God Himself conducted the first blood sacrifice so that Adam and Eve could be restored to relationship with Him.  We know this from the fact that He took the skins of the animals that were sacrificed and clothed Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:21).


The blood sacrifice of animals continued throughout the Old Testament.  The practice was symbolic of the blood of Jesus Christ that would be shed to cover sin once and for all (Matthew 26:28).  No longer is the sacrifice of animals part of worship, for the final sacrifice occurred when Jesus died on the cross of Calvary for the sins of all mankind.




From the story of Cain and Abel, we learn that not all worship is acceptable to God


And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:  But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door…(Genesis 4:1-7)


Abel’s offering was a blood sacrifice offered by faith in God’s plan for forgiveness and reconciliation. Cain’s offering was of the fruit of the ground, the work of his own hands by planting and harvesting.  Hebrews 11:4 makes it clear that Abel offered a better sacrifice because it was offered by faith:


By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.  (Hebrews 11:4)


In what was Abel’s faith placed?  The blood that cleanses from sin. Abel’s sacrifice was one of the first recorded acts of acceptable worship.


Cain was angry about his rejected offering, but instead of repenting he killed Abel.  Sadly, he departed from the presence of the Lord unforgiven and unchanged (Genesis 4:8-16).




Genesis 6:9 reveals that Noah was a just and perfect man who walked with God in the midst of a sinful society.  He was commissioned by God to build an ark that saved a representative population of the world from God’s judgment.  After the great flood, Noah built an altar and sacrificed to the Lord:


And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord…And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. 

(Genesis 8:21-22)


Noah’s worship was not only acceptable, but God was so pleased that He made an everlasting covenant with the world, sealed it by His Word, and memorialized it by the sign of a rainbow (Genesis 9:12-17).  Each time you see a rainbow you should praise God because of His everlasting covenant with mankind.




Abraham built altars to worship God at Shechem (Genesis 12:6), Bethel (Genesis 12:8), Hebron (Genesis 13:18), and  Mount Moriah  (Genesis 22:9).  As part of his worship, Abraham also prayed, circumcised his sons, and tithed from his material increase. 


One of the most beautiful stories about worship is recorded in Genesis 22.  God gave Abraham a son named Isaac, long after it was physically impossible for him and his wife to bear children.  Then there came a day when God gave Abraham a difficult command. He told him to sacrifice his beloved son.  In Isaac was the future of the promises of God.  He was the heir through whom Abraham's descendants were to come, by which the nation of Israel would be birthed, and through whom he would become the father of nations.


After Abraham received this command from God, the Bible records in Genesis 22:3 that he rose up early in the morning to obey. Even when God's will was difficult, Abraham did not delay to comply.  When God spoke he acted immediately. Because of his obedience, God provided another sacrifice and Isaac's life was spared.  It is interesting to note that Abraham never referred to God's instructions regarding Isaac as a sacrifice. He called it worship. The highest form of worship is to look beyond your “Isaac”, that which you love most, to God.  Genesis 22:5 is the first use of the word “worship” in the Bible. How do you respond in times of testing and difficulties?  Do you respond with worship?


Abraham was tested to see if it was Isaac who occupied his highest devotion or God. Abraham  sets the example that no one should receive higher allegiance than God.  Abraham was obedient to God’s commands because he believed the promises and purposes of God.  He knew that God’s purposes would be fulfilled no matter how difficult the circumstances.  So he worshipped.  We should do likewise. 




Abraham’s son, Isaac, also faithfully served God, although there are not many Scriptures regarding his worship experiences.  He was meditating in the fields when he met his bride, Rebekah (Genesis 24:63).  After a manifestation of God during which the Abrahamic covenant was confirmed, Isaac built an altar to worship God at Beersheba (Genesis 26:24-25).  We also know that Isaac was a worshipper because God identified Himself in the Old Testament record as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.




From birth, Jacob was a scrapper.  He wrestled with his twin brother, Esau, in the womb (Genesis 25).  Later, he stole is brother’s birthright and blessing (Genesis 25).  After stealing Esau’s blessing, he fled for his life to dwell with his Uncle Laban  (Genesis 27).


Jacob had four experiences with the Lord that are recorded in Scripture.  On the way to Laban’s house, Jacob spent the night at a place called Bethel (Genesis 28).  At Bethel, Jacob had an encounter with God.  He dreamed a dream (Genesis 28:2); heard God’s voice (28:13-15); received promises from God (28:13); made vows (28:20); and paid tithes (28:22).  He even built a monument to God and anointed it (28:18,22).  But his life was not changed.  He had a religious experience, not a worship experience because true worship results in a transformed life.


During his time with Laban, Jacob grabbed all he could materially by scheming and manipulation.  He married Leah and Rachel, whose father Laban practiced idolatry (Genesis 30:27; 31:19-20,34-35).  There was hatred and competition between the two wives and Jacob lost control of his family, as evidenced by the sin of his sons at Shechem (Genesis 34).  Eventually, Jacob fled from Laban’s household after having an encounter with God where he was told to return home (Genesis 31:1-16).


Jacob’s next worship experience with God was at Peniel, where he wrestled with an angel until the breaking of dawn (Genesis 32:24-31).   It was there that his natural strength was broken, and he emerged limping physically but as a new man spiritually.  He had fled from Esau and Laban, but after Peniel he was no longer running.  God changed both his name and the way he walked physically as a reminder of how he had been transformed spiritually.  When you have a true worship experience instead of religious ritual,  your life will be changed both inwardly and outwardly.


Next, God spoke to Jacob and told him to return to Bethel which means “the house of God” (Genesis 35).  Jacob declared that he was going there to build an altar to the God who answered his prayers when he was in distress and who had been with him wherever he had gone.  Prior to his departure for Bethel, Jacob had all the false idols removed from his household. 


When Jacob returned to Bethel, he renamed Bethel “Elbethel” which means “the God of the house of God”.  Jacob had changed his emphasis from the house of God to God Himself.  God appeared to Him again and blessed him, revealing that a company of nations should come from his lineage and the land given to Abraham and Isaac would be his and his seed after him.


As an elderly man, we see Israel (Jacob) looking by faith to the future and worshipping God:


By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. (Hebrews 11:21)


Whether you are facing life or death, God is worthy of your worship.


One of Jacob’s sons, born to Leah, was named Judah.  Her reason for giving him this name is recorded in Genesis 29:35 where she states, “This time I will praise the Lord.”  Judah means praise and the tribe of Israelites that would descend from him would be known as worshippers. 


Because Judah’s name means “praise”, there are many lessons about worship that can be learned from the use of his name in Scripture. Here are a few examples:


            -Numbers 10:14 and Judges 1:2:  Judah (praise) led the people of God in their wilderness trek.

            -1 Samuel 17:34-36 and 2 Chronicles13:14:  Judah (praise) gained great victories over      the enemy.

            -Zechariah 12:7:  In times of calamity, the tents of Judah (praise) were saved first by the   Lord.

            -Psalm 114:2:  Judah (praise) became God’s sanctuary.  All of Israel was God’s domain, but He established His sanctuary in Judah, the midst of the tribe that praised Him.

            -Psalm 76:1:  This verse declares: “In Judah, God is known; His name is great in Israel.”             Israel is typical of members of the church at large who know God’s name, but He is        known in a special way in Judah, among the worshippers.




There is no biblical record of Joseph building an altar, but we know that he was a worshipper and  lived a lifestyle of worship because the Bible states that God was with him and blessed him in all that he did (Genesis 39:2, 21). He obviously was intimate with God, in that he was given the ability to prophetically interpret dreams and this gift comes only by spending time in God’s presence.








Throughout the book of Genesis, different names are revealed for God that reflect various aspects of His character.  Early in Genesis he is called Yahweh or the Lord (Genesis 4:2).  By His name El Elyon revealed in Genesis 14:18,  He is honored as God Most High.  He is revealed as El Shaddai, “the Almighty God,” in Genesis 17:1.   In Genesis 22;14, He is called “the Lord who provides.”  He is El Roi, the God who sees, in Genesis 16:13. 


This revelation of the names of God continues throughout Scripture.  The study of the names of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is beyond the scope of this manual, but lists are provided in Appendix Eight to enable you to use these names in worship.




Miscellaneous references regarding early worship include the following:


-Genesis 4:21:  Jubal was the father of all those who play the harp and organ.


-Genesis 4:15-16:  After Abel’s murder, Adam and Eve had another son named Seth who was the father of Enos.  At that time, men began to call upon the name of the Lord.


-Genesis 5:24:  Enoch obviously had a close worship relationship with God.  We are told that he “walked with God and God took him.” 


-Genesis 24:26-27:  Abraham’s servant worshipped God because the Lord led him to the house where he found a bride for Isaac.




The book of Job is estimated to have been written in the era of the patriarchs whose lives are described in the book of Genesis.   Job is considered to be the oldest book in the Bible. Job was a worshipper who not only offered sacrifices for himself, but did so continually for his family (Job 1:4-5).  Chapters 1-2 detail the beginning of an extreme test of faith experienced by Job.   Satan’s attacks on him were because of his worship.  The question was:  Would he still worship God if he lost everything?   His response to the loss of his family, fortune, and health was to worship and make powerful declarations of faith: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him”…(Job 13:15).


Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped…(Job 1:20)


But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

(Job 23:10)


One of the great lessons in the book of Job is that you can still worship God when you don’t have the answers to the difficult circumstances of life.





The book of Exodus opens with the story of Moses, his early years, his desert experiences, and his divine call to deliver Israel from Egyptian bondage (Exodus 1-4).   When Moses returned to Egypt with a message from God regarding deliverance, the people believed and bowed their heads and worshipped (Exodus 4:31). God commissioned Moses to appeal to Pharaoh to set the people free so that they could worship the true God.  The conflict with Pharaoh is described in Exodus chapters 5 through 12:


And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go. (Genesis 5:1-2)


The conflict with Pharaoh was all about worship, as it has been in every spiritual conflict since the rebellion of Lucifer.  Repeatedly, Moses appealed that the people be released to serve God (Exodus 7:16; 9:1; 9:13; 10:3, 24-26).  Several plagues followed as Pharoah continuously refused their requests. During the final plague of the death of the first-born sons, the Passover was instituted and we find that God’s people “…bowed their heads and worshipped”  (Exodus 12:27). 


After Israel passed through the Red Sea, an amazing scene is described in Exodus 15.  This is the first recorded instance of corporate worship.  The people sang the song written by Moses while Miriam, the prophetess, took a timbrel in her hand and led the women in dances to the Lord.  Miriam declared:


            Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he        thrown into the sea. (Exodus 15:21)


Miriam is the first “worship leader” mentioned in the Bible.  She urged the people to sing to the Lord, worshipping Him for their deliverance and salvation. 


Like the early patriarchs, Moses built altars to the Lord during Israel’s wilderness trek.  The altar described in Exodus 17:15 marked God’s judgment on Israel’s enemy, the Amalekites, and the revelation of the name “Jehovah Nissi”, the Lord my banner.


In Exodus 24:4-14 at Mt. Sinai, Moses built an altar and made blood sacrifices to mark the covenant of the Lord with Israel.   In response, the cloud of God’s glory covered Mt. Sinai.  Afterwards, Moses, along with Joshua, ascended the mountain to receive the law from God which included specific guidelines for worship:


And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:1-6)


Specific prohibitions were given regarding idolatry:


Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.

Exodus 20:23


Israel was told that…


…My Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off.  Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images. (Exodus 23:23-24)


Sadly, Israel did not heed God’s instructions and they engaged in idolatry in the wilderness by worshipping a golden calf for which they suffered the consequences of a nation-wide plague (Exodus 32).  Later in history, the nation of Israel failed to rid their promised land of idols and continuously embraced idolatrous worship.


God also gave specific instructions regarding the altars that were to be built for worship:


An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon. (Exodus 20:24-25)


The earthen altar was used until a permanent altar was established in the Tabernacle.  The instructions suggest the plain simplicity with which God wanted to be worshipped as opposed to the gaudy demonstration of idolators.  When a more permanent stone altar was built, it was to be constructed with natural stone.  No man-made tools were to be used, as these would be symbolic of self-effort. 


In Exodus 33, a beautiful worship experience is recorded in response to Moses’ request to behold God’s glory.  God said:


And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.  And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.  And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:  And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen. (Exodus 33:19-23).


The manifested presence of the Lord is one all worshippers desire to experience.  More on that in Chapter Twenty-One of this study.   Following this experience of God’s manifested glory, the Lord gave Moses the expanded law and plans for the Tabernacle where He would come and meet with His people and where they could worship Him.  More on that in the next chapter.




From the beginning of time, worship required a relationship with God.  The angels worshipped in Heaven and at the time of creation, but Lucifer and his followers were cast out of heaven because of false worship. Adam and Eve walked and talked with their creator in the Garden of Eden.  After their fall into sin, worship required a blood sacrifice, the first being made by God Himself. 


Worship prior to the giving of the law did not require a priest. The head of the household acted as the religious leader for his family as exemplified by Job who made sacrifices on behalf of his children.  Worship regulations were not specified, other than the required blood sacrifice for sin which God initiated in the Garden of Eden.  God sometimes told a person where to build an altar and what to offer, but for the most part, the altars and offerings seem to have been initiated by the people. There is no mention of special times, days, or seasons requiring worship.


The detailed instructions of the law that God gave to Moses did not apply to the patriarchs. They were not restricted by rules about special places, people, rituals and days.  The most important factor was who they worshipped: They worshipped the one true God.  They accepted and acted upon God’s requirement, first demonstrated in the Garden of Eden,  that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin  (Hebrews 9:22).   They lived a lifestyle of worship.


The first part of Exodus recounts the struggle to free Israel so that they could worship their God.  Their miraculous deliverance resulted in a tremendous scene of corporate worship with music, singing, and dancing.  


The first part of Exodus also recounts the giving of the Ten Commandments that include the mandate to worship the one true God and reject idolatry (Exodus 20:1-6)).  Sadly, the biblical record during these early times reveals Israel’s idolatrous worship of the golden calf.  Beautifully it recounts God’s glory manifested to Moses in a tremendous personal worship experience.











1.         Write the key verse.





2.         Summarize what the Bible reveals about pre-creation worship.













3.         Summarize what the Bible teaches about worship at the time of creation.














4.         Summarize what is taught about worship in the book of Genesis.











5.         Summarize what the Bible reveals about worship in the book of Job.













6.         Summarize what the Bible teaches about worship in the book of Exodus prior to worship in the Tabernacle.













7.         How will you apply what you learned about worship in this chapter?





            Spend some time in worship when you complete this lesson.



(Answers to Self-Tests are found at the conclusion of this manual.)





1.         Turn to Appendix Two and study the references to “worship” and “worshipping” in          Genesis, Job, and Exodus prior to the giving of the law.


2.         Review the worship song in Exodus 15:1-19. Personalize it to worship God for what He   has done in your life.










Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

            -Use the book of Exodus to:

                        -List purposes of the Tabernacle.

                        -List names of the Tabernacle.

                        -Summarize the construction of the Tabernacle.

                        -Explain how the design of the Tabernacle relates to worship.

                        -Explain the pathway to God’s presence.

                        -Explain the function of Old Testament priests in regards to worship.

                        -Explain how Old Testament feasts relate to worship.

            -Summarize worship principles in the book of Leviticus.

            -Summarize worship principles in the book of Numbers.

            -Summarize worship principles in the book of Deuteronomy.




Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

(Exodus 40:34-35)




This chapter is one of six concerning worship in the Old Testament.  This chapter focuses on the period after the giving of the law, including the detailed regulations for worship in the Tabernacle and Temple.  The book of Exodus records instructions from God regarding the construction and operation of the Tabernacle.  These directives include how to approach God, how to offer sacrifices, how to worship, and the institution of the priesthood and feasts of Israel.   These instructions continue through the books of Leviticus and Numbers and are repeated in Deuteronomy.


In each of these books, the prevailing principle is that God requires the exclusive worship of His people:


For thou shalt worship no other god; for the Lord, whose name is jealous, is a jealous God.  (Exodus 34:14)





From Exodus chapter 25 to the end of chapter 40, with the exception of chapters 32-34, detailed instructions are given regarding the Tabernacle.  In chapters 25-31 Moses receives the pattern for the Tabernacle from God.  In chapters 35-40, the work is carried out exactly as God commanded,  the Tabernacle is dedicated, and the glory of God descends. 


More space is devoted to the Tabernacle than to any other single subject in the Bible because not only was it an important place of worship and sacrifice for Israel, it is rich in spiritual analogies for Believers. Entire volumes have been written on the Tabernacle and its symbolic meanings, but for purposes of this study we are providing only major analogies that apply to worship. 


The Tabernacle was a visual aid that revealed how sinful man could approach a righteous God to be forgiven and enter His presence to worship.  It was an object lesson, so to speak, to prepare for Christ's coming and illustrate the way that God must be approached and worshipped.  God has provided many "natural parallels of spiritual truths", using visible symbols to help us understand spiritual things (2 Corinthians 4:18; 1 Corinthians 15:46-47). A symbol is a biblical type or analogy that points beyond its reality to a greater spiritual fulfillment. Hebrews 9:23-24 indicates that the earthly Tabernacle is a copy--or a shadow--of the Heavenly one to come. 


Repeatedly in the chapters concerning the construction of the Tabernacle you will read the phrase "according to the pattern".  God was very specific about how He was to be approached, how sin was to be dealt with, and how His people were to worship.  Likewise, we cannot achieve forgiveness, redemption, or worship God in any way other than that revealed in the scriptures.




God desired to dwell or "tabernacle" with His people.  The Tabernacle provided a place for His presence in the midst of His people where they could fellowship with Him.  It also provided a place for sacrifices that were required when one came to worship.  It represented the presence of God with His people and the appointed way that they could approach Him. 


The earthly Tabernacle was symbolic of the heavenly Tabernacle where Jesus ministers to and for His people  (Hebrews 8:1-5;9:1).  The book of Revelation mentions a brazen altar: 5:9-11; an altar of incense: 8:3-5; elders/priests: 4:4-5; a throne: 4:2; and cherubim: 4:6-7. 


Under the New Testament covenant, God's presence no longer dwells in one place--a cathedral, tent, or building--but He dwells in every Believer.  You are the "the temple of God": 


What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)




Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

(1 Corinthians 3:16)


God is present also in the true church:


Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.  (Ephesians 2:19-22) 




Various names are used for the Tabernacle in Scripture, but they all refer to the structure detailed in Exodus, the place where worship occurred.  The Tabernacle is called...


-The Tabernacle:  Exodus 25:9.

-The sanctuary:  Exodus 25:8.

-The house of God: Exodus 34:26.

-The tent of the congregation: Exodus 40:34-35.

-The tent or Ark of Testimony:  Exodus 25:22; 26:33-34.

-The Ark of the Lord:  1 Kings 2:26.

-The Ark of the God of Israel:  1 Samuel 5:7.

-The Ark of the Covenant:  Judges 3:6; 20:27.




God was the divine architect of the Tabernacle.  Moses served as a project manager to make sure the Tabernacle was built according to the pattern given by God.  Two key men, Bezaleel and Aholiab, are specifically called by God to work on the Tabernacle and teach their skills to others (Exodus 31:2; 31:6; 35:34-35).   Joining them in the work were men of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge (Exodus 36:1-8).


The materials for constructing the Tabernacle were donated by the children of Israel (Exodus 25:2).  They were given through freewill offerings from a people whose hearts had been stirred  (Exodus 35:21,26). The people gave so much, that eventually Moses had to stop them from giving!  Where did they get such wealth?  From the Egyptians prior to their departure from slavery (Exodus 12:36).  A review of Exodus 19:1, Numbers 9:1, and Jewish history indicate that it took nine months to build the Tabernacle.








The materials used in the Tabernacle all pointed to God and a better understanding of how to worship Him.  Here are the symbolic meanings of some of the main materials used in building the Tabernacle:


            -Gold is a symbol of value and purity and representative of the deity of God:

             Exodus 25:17.

            -Silver is a symbol for redemption: Exodus 30:12-16.

            -Bronze is a symbol of death and judgment:  Used in the bronze altar where sacrifices                    were made and in implements used at the altar.

            -Blue is a symbol of the heavens, representing the heavenly character of Jesus.

            -Purple is the color of royalty:  Matthew 15:17-18.

            -Scarlet symbolizes sacrifice, the blood of Jesus:  Hebrews 9:19-20.

            -White and fine linen symbolize righteousness through Christ:  Revelation 19:8.

            -Acacia wood, also called shittim wood,  was extremely hard and durable--incorruptible,              as is Jesus Christ.

            -Oil was used for the light and symbolizes the anointing of the Holy Spirit:  1 John 2:17.

            -Incense for the altar of incense symbolizes the prayers of Believers rising up to God:                    Revelation 5:8.

            -The coverings served as protection for the Tabernacle, just as Jesus Christ  protects          Believers from the world when we abide in His shadow: Psalm 91:1.

            -Gems with the names of Israel on them are symbolic of Believers who God calls jewels:              Malachi 3:17.




The  design was given by God Himself.  Everything was to be built according to this divine blueprint--"according to the pattern". 


The Tabernacle had three sections:  The courtyard, the Holy Place, and the Most Holy Place.  The courtyard contained a brazen altar and laver.  The Holy place had a golden altar of incense, a table of showbread, and a golden candlestick.  The Most Holy Place contained the Ark.  Inside the ark was a copy of the law, some manna, and Aaron's rod.




tab plan

























The arrangement of the contents of the Tabernacle symbolizes how sinful mankind can approach God.  The same pattern was used in the subsequent Temples that were constructed.  Spiritually, Believers must walk the same path as the Old Testament priests in order to enter God's presence.


There is only one entrance, Jesus Christ.  All roads do not lead to God!  The brazen altar and the laver symbolize our need for forgiveness of sins, baptism, and the washing by the Word, all of which were necessary to enter the Holy Place.  We can only approach God through the atonement of the blood of Jesus.  


There, in the Holy Place, we encounter the light of His Word (symbolized by the lamp) and prayer (symbolized by the altar of incense).  Those who follow this way of approach spiritually will have access to the presence of God in the Most Holy Place. 


For a sinner who comes  by faith there is:

            -A way of access to God.  Entering into the gate, the door, Jesus Christ: 

             Matthew 7:13-14.

            -A way of reconciliation for sin.  Through the brazen altar:  2 Corinthians 5:19,21.

            -A way of sanctification.  The laver, speaking of the washing of His Word: John 15:3.

            -A way of illumination.  Jesus is the light of the world:  John 8:12.

            -A way of satisfaction.  Symbolized by the showbread which represents Jesus, the bread                of life:  John 6:35.

            -A way of intercession. As the incense on the altar of incense, our prayers ascend to God:              Hebrews 13:15.

            -A place of separation from the world.  Illustrated by the outer coverings of the                              Tabernacle which protected it from the harsh desert elements.

            -A way of fellowship with God.  Through Jesus, we have access to and can fellowship                   with God: 1 John 1:3.


The Tabernacle, whether traveling or stationary, was always at the center of God’s people.  Worship should be the central focus of our lives. Unless Jesus is central to all, He cannot be Lord of all.


The design of the Tabernacle and the placement of its contents form the shape of a cross, which points prophetically to the cross of Jesus by which the world is saved and restored to fellowship with God. 































The gate,  the one entrance to worship,  pictures the reality that there is no way into God’s presence other than through Jesus Christ. To worship God, you must know Him as your personal Savior  (John 10:7; 14:6).


The brazen altar was where blood sacrifices for sin were made.  It is a picture of the cross of  Jesus Christ.  Only those who have been reconciled to God through the death of Jesus Christ can worship God (Romans 5:10; Colossians 1:20; Ephesians 2:16). The brazen altar was also the method of dealing with ongoing sin (1 John 1:7‑9).


The brass laver  pictures sanctification that comes from the "washing of water with the Word" (Ephesians 5:26).  It is central to the worship of God, as no unclean thing can stand in His presence.


The golden lampstand was the only source of light in the Holy Place, and it pictures the light of God leading you into His presence and guiding you in your daily walk. To worship God, you must have a lifestyle of seeking and doing the will of God and walking in the light as He is in the light (1 John 1:7).


The table of showbread speaks of finding sustenance in the Lord and being satisfied with Him as you worship in His presence and live a lifestyle of worship (John 6:26‑40).


The golden altar of incense speaks of the role of  prayer in worship. Impure incense, representing impure worship, and impure prayer are unacceptable to God (Exodus 30:34‑38; Revelation 5:8; 8:3‑4).


The ark of the covenant and the mercy seat. The ark is the throne of God (2 Samuel 6:2) representing the presence of God (Exodus 25:22). Once you faithfully follow the pathway of the priest, you can enter God’s presence and worship Him within the veil (Hebrews 10:19‑22).  You can rest in His sufficiency as illustrated by the jar of manna.  You can trust His sovereignty and His life-giving ability as seen in Aaron’s rod that supernaturally brought forth buds and fruit.  You can rest in the fulfillment of His righteous standards as symbolized by the tables of law.




After all the preparations for the Tabernacle were complete, Israel gathered for their first worship service. When Moses set all of the contents of the Tabernacle in place…


Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

(Exodus 40:34-35)


When you get the patterns of worship right, He will come!


In conclusion, Exodus also contains a powerful promise regarding how worship of the true God relates to physical health:


Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images. And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. (Exodus 23:24-25)




Leviticus continues the record of God’s laws, many of which pertain to worship.  The bottom line of the book is summed up in this scripture:


            Then Moses said, "This is what the Lord has commanded you to do, so that the glory of

            the Lord may appear to you." (Leviticus 9:6, NIV)




Here are some key principles of worship from the book of Leviticus.


-Giving is inseparable from true worship. Read Leviticus chapters 1-3 to confirm the importance of giving to God. 


-Inappropriate worship greatly displeases God.  This is illustrated by the tragic story of Nadab and Abihu who offered strange fire on the altar of the Lord (Leviticus 10:1-7).  God had previously demonstrated His glory through fire and they tried to reproduce this manifestation with dire consequences.


-Forgiveness of sin allows you to enter God’s presence. The annual day of atonement was the holiest day of the year for Israelites, for on this day the people were cleansed from the sins of the past year when the high priest entered the most Holy Place and offered a blood sacrifice.  As Believers, we no longer have to wait for a special day, but we can be forgiven any time we request it through the shed blood of Jesus Christ (Leviticus 16:1-34).


-Your relationship with others affects your worship of God.  This is why such detailed instructions on relationships are given in Leviticus chapters 18-22. 


-God’s people must maintain a standard of holiness. Not only is God described as the Holy One, but His people are required to be holy in order to maintain the intimacy required for worship:


Therefore shall ye keep my commandments, and do them: I am the Lord. Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the Lord which hallow you, That brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the Lord. (Leviticus 22:31-33)






The Old Testament book of Leviticus is the instruction book for the priests, but there are many parallels that apply to New Testament Believers and their worship:


-God is the one who called the priests. God is the one who calls Believers for worship and service.  We are a kingdom of priests to God, called and ordained to worship Him (1 Peter 2:9).


-The priests were ordained by God.  In the Old Testament, this was done through Moses, who was the mediator between Israel and God.  New Testament Believers are called and ordained through Jesus, our Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5).  Jesus  said:  "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit..." (John 15:16).


-The priests were cleansed by washing in water.  Believers are cleansed  spiritually by Jesus Christ and through the Word of God, both symbolic of water.


-The priests wore special clothing which reflected their positions. Believers are to be clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ in order to approach God (Romans 13:14).


-A priest was anointed with oil and blood, symbolic of the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the blood of Jesus.  His ear was anointed to hear the Word; his hand was anointed to do the work of God; and his foot was anointed to walk God’s way.  Believers must receive a similar anointing spiritually in order to worship properly and fulfill their ministries.


-Before worshipping and ministering to the people, the priests had to receive forgiveness for their own sins.  In order to worship and minister effectively to others, you must first experience forgiveness from sin (1 John 1:8-9).


-The priests dedicated all that they had and all that they were to God's service. Believers are to "...present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service"  (Romans 12:1).


-The priests were not immune to sin. Aaron, the high priest, sinned by making a golden calf for the Israelites to worship.  He also joined his sister, Miriam, in a challenge to Moses’ authority.  When Aaron repented, the Lord forgave him and he was allowed to resume his ministry as worship leader.


-The priests were the mediators between God and man.  Now, Jesus Christ is our mediator.  It is through His death on Calvary that we can approach the throne of God to worship and seek help in times of need:


Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)




God gave Israel a calendar that was linked to the sowing and reaping seasons of their agrarian economy and their national history.  The feasts of the Lord kept the people's focus on God, His past faithfulness, and what He would do in the future.


The feasts also brought the congregation together for worship and celebration.  Prophetically, Christ's atonement for sin, His resurrection,  the founding of the church, His return, and other future prophetic events are illustrated in these special worship events.


There were three spring feasts and three fall feasts.  The spring feasts are symbolic of events surrounding Christ's first coming. The fall feasts are symbolic of events that will surround His second coming. There are many detailed spiritual analogies that may be drawn from these feasts. Entire volumes have been written on the subject, but here is a simple summary of the feasts and their symbolic meanings that relate to worship.


The Weekly Sabbath

Leviticus 23:3                                                            

Exodus 20:8-11                                                                                              

Deuteronomy 5:12-15


The weekly Sabbath recalls God's rest from creation and was instituted as a covenant sign between God and Israel.  Sometimes people call Sunday the Christian Sabbath, but this term is not used in scripture.  The Sabbath is the seventh day and speaks of rest after works.  Sunday

is the Lord's day, the first day of the week when the resurrection occurred, and it speaks of rest before works.              The Sabbath, a covenant with Israel, belongs to the old creation, the Lord's day to the new creation in Christ.  As Believers, the Sabbath symbolizes the spiritual rest promised to us (Matthew 11:28; Hebrews 4:11). 



Leviticus 23:5                                                            

Numbers 28:16                                                                                  

Deuteronomy 16:1-2                                                                          

Exodus 12:1-14                      

Matthew 26:17-20


Unleavened Bread 

Leviticus 23:6-8                                 

Numbers 28:17-25                                                                             

Deuteronomy 16:3-8                                                                          

Exodus 12:15-20


The Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread merged together. The Passover was the main event, followed by a week of eating only unleavened bread.  The Passover commemorates Israel's

deliverance from death through the applied blood of a lamb. For the Believer, this feast commemorates the death of Jesus, the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world. He is the one who delivered us out of the slavery of sin and bondage through the sacrifice of His blood.  The Feast of Unleavened Bread recalls the urgency with which the people left Egypt--they didn't even have time to let their bread rise.  This is symbolic of Jesus, the Bread of Life, who is free from leaven (symbolic of evil).   It is also symbolic of the urgency for Believers to escape the enslavement of the world and begin their spiritual journey to the promised land. 


First Fruits

(Also called ingathering)

Leviticus 23:9-14                                           

Exodus 23:16

Numbers 28:26-31


First Fruits was the feast when the first yields of the harvest were presented to the Lord.  The first fruits of the crop were representative of all the harvests to come.  Prophetically, for Believers this feast symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus.  He was the grain of wheat which died to bring forth the first fruits of all resurrections.  It also indicates that we should give the first fruits of our labor--the tithe--to the Lord as an act of worship.



(Also called the Feast of Weeks)

Leviticus 23:15-22                                         

Exodus 34:22                                                             

Deuteronomy 16:9-12


This feast commemorates the giving of the law at Sinai some 50 days after the exodus from Egypt.  For Believers, this feast symbolizes the giving of the Holy Spirit at the start of the church age and its operation under the New Covenant of grace (Acts 2).  Pentecost empowers Spirit-led worship. 



Leviticus 23:23-25                                         

Numbers 29:1-6                                                                                                                                                                     

This feast marked the end of harvest and the beginning of the Jewish new year.  For the Believer, this feast is symbolic of new beginnings and the glorious day when Jesus returns at the trumpet sound to take His people to their spiritual Promised Land (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17;

1 Corinthians 15:52).  The blowing of the shofar and the sound of trumpets are often used in worship.







Day Of Atonement

Leviticus 23:26-32                                         

Leviticus 16

Numbers 29:7-11


This was the most holy day of the year when atonement for Israel's sins was made by the High Priest. For Believers, this feast is symbolic of the atoning work of Christ on the cross.  A key truth is that there is only one way to be forgiven of sin and approach God to worship and that is through the blood of Jesus Christ.



(Also called the Feast of Booths/Ingathering)

Leviticus 23:33-44; 8:13-18              

Numbers 29:12-40

Deuteronomy 16:13-15

John 7:2


This was Israel's Thanksgiving.  The booths they built and lived in during this feast recalled the time when Israel lived in temporary shelters prior to building permanent structures in their Promised Land.  This feast commemorates God's faithfulness in the past, especially during the wilderness journey.  It is also called the feast of ingathering because it was held at the conclusion of the harvest and included a week of joyous celebration for the harvest.  For the Believer, it speaks of God's faithfulness in the past and prophetically of coming into our own Promised Land after we abandon our temporary earthly tabernacles.  It also reveals that in the Kingdom of God, the end is better than the beginning and it calls us to foster a spirit of gratitude in worship. 




Here are some key principles of worship from the book of Numbers:


-Separation marks a true worshipper.  Numbers 6:1-4, 8 describes the Nazarite vow that one could opt to take in order to be separated unto the Lord and continuously qualified to worship.  New Testament Believers are qualitied for worship through the blood of Jesus and by separating themselves from the world:


Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:17-18)


-Music is essential to worship and spiritual warfare.


And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations. And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the Lord your God, and ye shall be saved from your

enemies. Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the Lord your God. (Numbers 10:8-10).


-Spiritual symbols can help you recall God’s works and enhance your worship.


And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.  I am the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the Lord your God.  (Numbers 15:37-41)


-God designated a specific place for meeting with His people.  In Old Testament times, it was the Tabernacle (Numbers  11:16-17). In the New Testament era it was where two or three were gathered together in His Name (Matthew 18:20).


-God desires for spiritual things to be done in an orderly manner.  This is reflected in the  assignments for the Tabernacle.  Every time Israel moved during their wilderness trek, each Levite family had specific duties regarding the Tabernacle.  The Apostle Paul emphasized the importance of orderly worship in his instructions to the church at Corinth (1 Corinthians 14:40).




In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses makes a farewell speech prior to his death.  He rehearses Israel’s history and gives directives for living in the Promised Land, many of which concern worship.


-They are to worship only their God.  The commandments regarding worshipping God given in Exodus are repeated in Deuteronomy 5:6-9.  The prevailing theme of Deuteronomy is one of worship, as Moses admonishes…


            …Thou shalt love the Lord they God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with   all thy might. (Deuteronomy 6:5)


-They are to teach their children about worship.


Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou

walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

(Deuteronomy 6:4-7)


-They are to refrain from idolatry.  Moses warns God’s people about refraining from worshipping the sun, the stars, and the hosts of heaven “…And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven” (Deuteronomy 4:19).


Moses repeatedly warns about worshiping idols and other gods:


And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.

(Deuteronomy 8:19)


Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them… (Deuteronomy 11:16)


But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.  (Deuteronomy 30:17)


Moses reviews the idolatrous sins of Israel in the wilderness (Deuteronomy 9).  It is important to learn from history so that it will not be repeated.  He also tells how God separated the Levites as worship leaders (Deuteronomy 10:8).  He appeals to Israel to let their hearts be circumcised—a spiritual change that will enable them to serve and worship the true God  (Deuteronomy 10:16).


-They are to give regularly to God. Moses instructed God’s people to give the first fruits of their land.  He said:  ‘‘…And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O Lord, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the Lord thy God, and worship before the Lord thy God” (Deuteronomy 26:10).   Paul admonishes Believers:  “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him…” (1 Corinthians 16:2).


-They are to be careful about their relationships.  Moses warns that close relationships with the ungodly will cause God’s people to turn away following Him and serve other gods (Deuteronomy 7:4).  The book for Proverbs directs us to guard our hearts and select relationships carefully.


-They are to worship where God directs.  God revealed that He would have a specific place for worship in the Promised Land, the Temple at Jerusalem (Deuteronomy 12:11). God’s specific place for worship now is in the temple of your heart: 


What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.  (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)


-Their commitment to worship would be tested.  Israel was warned that their commitment to worship would be tested... “for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 13:3).  Your commitment will also be tested.


-Blessings follow those who worship God.  Blessings are pronounced on those who chose to worship God and keep His commandments.  (Deuteronomy 11:13,26-28).  Success was promised to those who would keep their covenant with God and judgment upon those who did not (Deuteronomy 29:9; 30:17).  Those who worship God and keep His Word are successful

(Psalm 1).


-Who you choose to worship defines spiritual life or death.  Moses gave the people a choice between life and death which would be defined by their worship:


See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. (Deuteronomy  30:15-20)




In Deuteronomy 12:1-32, Moses provides guidelines for true worshippers:

-True worshippers obey God’s laws: 1.

-True worshippers reject false worship: 2-4.

-True worshippers seek a place to worship where God’s name is honored: 5-7.

-True worshippers do not worship as they seem fit, but as God directs: 8-14.

-True worshippers do not abuse the blood or misuse the tithe: 15-18.

-True worshippers support the ministers of God: 19.

-True worshippers distinguish between what is permitted and forbidden by God: 


-True worshippers do not conform to the religious practices of the world: 29-32.




Towards the end of his discourse, Moses was commanded by God to write a worship song specifically for Israel:


Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel. For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant. And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware.  Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel.  (Deuteronomy 31:19-22)


This song will also be sung in Heaven (Revelation 15:3).




According to the biblical record of mid-Exodus through Deuteronomy, worship went from very little structure to very specific and detailed structure. God specified exactly when sacrifices were to be made, how they were to be made, where they were to be made, and who was to make them. There were holy places, holy animals, holy rituals, and holy men of God who were set apart to minister to God and His people.


The design of the Tabernacle emphasized that God is holy and that there is a proper away to approach Him.  It also emphasized that He was not a remote God, as the Tabernacle was set up in the midst of His people so that they could meet with Him. The ministry of the priests hold symbolic meaning for New Testament Believers who are set apart as priests to worship God and serve His people.


There were holy times which involved corporate worship. Every week, one day was holy. Every year, some special days were holy. Every seven years and every fifty years, a whole year was set apart. These designated times gave structure to their worship. The who, what, when, where, and how of worship were all spelled out. Everything was structured, organized, and formalized.  


As part of their worship, the people blessed the Lord, prayed, read God’s Word, bowed down, sang, played instruments, danced, sacrificed, and gave offerings.  Before his death, Moses emphasized worship in his final oration and in a song written for Israel.


Many worship practices of the Tabernacle era were made obsolete with Christ’s death on the cross, but these basic principles remain true:

            -Only the true God is to be worshipped.

            -We can only approach God through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

            -There are specific biblical principles for entering into His presence.








1.         Write the key verses.






Using the book of Exodus:


2.         List purposes of the Tabernacle.





3.         List the names of the Tabernacle.





4.         Summarize the construction of the Tabernacle.





5.         Explain how the design of the Tabernacle relates to worship.





6.         Explain the pathway to God’s presence as reflected in the Tabernacle.





7.         Explain the function of Old Testament priests in regards to worship.





8.         Explain how Old Testament feasts relate to worship.






9.         Summarize worship principles in the book of Leviticus.









10.       Summarize worship principles in the book of Numbers.









11.       Summarize worship principles in the book of Deuteronomy.






12.       How will you apply what you learned about worship in this chapter?






            Spend some time in worship when you complete this lesson.




(Answers to Self-Tests are found at the conclusion of this manual.)














1.  Study further on the Tabernacle.


                                                Pattern Given            Fulfilled


Offerings                                 25: 1-9                         35:4-29

Ark                                          25:10-23                      37:1-9

Table of Show bread               25:23-30                      37: 10-16

Candlestick                             25:31-40                      37:17-24

Curtains and Coverings          26:1-14                        36:8-19

Boards, Bars and Sockets       26:15-30                      36:20-34

Veil                                         26:31-35                      36:35-36

Tabernacle Door                     26:36-37                      36:37-38

Brazen Altar                            27:1-9                          38:1-7

Court, Pillars, Sockets, etc.     27:9-19                        38:9-20

Oil for the Candlestick            27:20-21                      39:27

Priests' Garments                    28                                39:1-32

Consecration of the Priests     29                                Lev. 8:1-36

Golden Altar of Incense          30:1-10                        37:25-28

Atonement fee                        30:11-16                      38:21-31

Brazen Laver                          30: 17-21                     38:8

Anointing Oil                          30:22-23                      37:29

Incense                                    30:34·38                      37:29

Builders                                   31:1-11                        35:30-36:7

Inspection                                                                   39:33-49

Dedication                                                                  40


2.  Turn to Appendix Two and study the references to “worship” and “worshipped” in the books of  Exodus through Deuteronomy.
















Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to summarize worship in the books of:




            -First and Second Samuel.

            -First and Second Kings.

            -First and Second Chronicles.







But the Lord, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice.  (2 Kings 17:36)




This is one of six chapters on worship in the Old Testament.  This chapter discusses worship during the historical era of the nation of Israel, commencing with the book of Joshua and concluding with the book of Esther.  During this time, all of the regulations regarding worship which you previously studied were in effect. But these books also contain powerful worship principles applicable to your own worship experience, which is the subject of this chapter.




The book of Joshua is named after Joshua, the leader of Israel who succeeded Moses.  The book explains how Israel secured their Promised Land and the division of the land among the tribes. 

We know that Joshua was well-schooled in worship, as he accompanied Moses during many of his encounters with God. 







The opening scenes of the book of Joshua describe important worship-related events prior to the invasion of the Promised Land.  These are symbolic of basic worship-related principles and include the blood, the knife, the fruit, and the sword.


The Blood.  Joshua had the people of Israel observe the Passover to remember and honor God for their deliverance from Egypt: 


And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho.  (Joshua 5:10)


The Passover speaks of the "blood applied.”  True worship requires the blood of Jesus Christ  applied to your life.


The Knife.  All the males of Israel were circumcised as a token of the covenant between them  and the one true God (Joshua 5:2-9). This was instituted in the time of Abraham, but had not been practiced during the wilderness wandering.  Because of this, the new generation of Israelites had not been circumcised and did not bear the sign of the covenant with God upon them.  Israel was preparing to battle against the nations of Canaan,  so by circumcising their flesh they disabled themselves right in the presence of the enemy demonstrating their utter reliance on God.


As a true worshipper, you too must bear the marks of change upon your life.  Your flesh must be cut away and you must learn to walk in the Spirit. As a New Testament Believer, you no longer circumcise the flesh:


In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ. (Colossians 2:11)


Your circumcision is spiritual and it is of the heart instead of the flesh.  To truly worship and fellowship with God, you must cleanse yourself of the filthiness of the flesh by having the mark of God upon your life.


The Fruit.  The manna which sustained Israel in the wilderness ceased to fall and the people began to eat of the fruit of Canaan (Joshua 5:9-12).  The manna had supplied basic necessities and was suited to the wilderness journey, but now it was time to move on to the fruit of the land which is symbolic of spiritual maturity:


Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection... (Hebrews 6:1)


To worship God in Truth you must progress from the basics of the faith to spiritual maturity. You must move from the “milk” to the "meat" of God's Word. 




But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.  For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (Hebrews 5:12-13)


Paul told the Corinthian Church:


And I brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk and not with meat; for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.  For ye are yet carnal:  for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?  (1 Corinthians 3:2-3)


How can you move from the milk to the meat of the Word?  First, you must desire the milk of the Word to grow  (1 Peter 2:2).  As you are obedient to the milk of the Word, you will be able to receive the meat of the Word.  Read Proverbs 2:1-5.  If you seek for the meat of the Word with the same dedication described in this passage, you will find it.  When you move from the milk to the meat of the Word, you will move to a new level in worship.


The Sword.  The closer the hour of combat at Jericho, the more Joshua felt personal responsibility for the forthcoming battle (Joshua 5:13-15).  When Joshua saw a man holding a drawn sword he asked, "Art thou for us or our adversaries?"  Joshua only saw two sides, his side and that of the enemy. 


The man identified himself as the prince of God's host.  His drawn sword symbolized the fact that the battle was the Lord's and it would be fought on the basis of His Word.  Any battle fought for the fulfillment of God's promises is God's battle and must be fought His way.  Joshua was told to take off his shoes because he was on holy ground. 


This powerful worship experience prepared Joshua for the battles which lay ahead.  You will learn more about spiritual warfare and how it relates to worship in chapter eighteen of this manual.


Here are some other key principles regarding worship recorded in the book of Joshua.


-Shouting is a powerful form of worship used in spiritual warfare.  Israel shouted to the Lord and the walls of Jericho collapsed:


So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. (Joshua 6:20)




-God is glorified when you confess your sin.  When Achan sinned by taking the accursed things, Joshua admonished him:  “My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me” 

(Joshua 7:19).


-Misunderstandings over worship lead to needless dissension.  The tribes of Ruben, Gad, and Manasseh took possession of Gilead, which was a distance from Canaan and built an altar at the borders of Jordan. When the other tribes of Israel heard about this, they were planning to go to war against them thinking it was built in rebellion against God’s instructions to worship at the altar in Jerusalem.  The three tribes explained that it was not an altar for sacrifice or burnt offerings, but it was to be a witness between them and the other tribes so that they would continue to serve the Lord.  When the other Israelites heard the explanation, they realized that the three tribes were not rebelling against the Lord.


-Your altars of worship cannot be of the flesh.  Joshua built an altar to the Lord in Mt. Ebal. As the law commanded, it was an altar of whole stones over which no man had lifted a tool (Joshua 8:30-31).  The reason for this was that using iron tools would be the work of man.  Our spiritual altar of worship should not be one of self-effort.


-Your commitment to worship will affect your destiny.  Your destiny and that of others and of your nation are all affected by worship.  In Joshua’s farewell message prior to his death, he admonished Israel regarding worship:


Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  (Joshua 24:14­-15)


The people responded:


And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the Lord, to serve other gods; For the Lord our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed: And the Lord drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the Lord; for he is our God. (Joshua 24:16-18)


Sadly, Joshua knew by experience that the people would not remain true to their promise. He warned them: “If ye forsake the Lord, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good”  (Joshua 24:20).


The people declared that they would abide by their choice, and Joshua told them they were personally responsible for their decision (Joshua 24:2l-23).  He said if they were truly sincere, they should destroy all their idols:  “Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the Lord God of Israel” (Joshua 24:23).


The people agreed, and as a symbol of their commitment Joshua took a large stone and placed it beneath the oak tree beside the Tabernacle of the Lord: 


And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the Lord which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God.  (Joshua 24:27)




The book of Judges covers the time between the conquest of the Promised Land described in Joshua and the establishment of the kingdom of Israel recorded in the books of Samuel.  During this time in Israel’s history, biblical judges served as leaders. The cycle of the judges follows a consistent pattern:  The people are unfaithful in their worship of God, so they are delivered into the hands of the enemy.  The people repent and God raises up a judge to deliver them.  Sadly, the same cycle is soon repeated.


The key message regarding worship in the book of Judges is that idolatry spreads like poison and is just as deadly in the spiritual world.  Each time the Israelites were lured by false gods, their affections were captured by them.  Modern society is no different.  Materialism, possessions, sports, entertainment, media, etc., can take you captive spiritually.


Repeatedly in the book of Judges we read the phrase: “And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord.”  Graciously, each time Israel strayed from worship, God chastised them and then raised up a judge to deliver them.


Here are some key principles concerning worship in the book of Judges.


-Music and song are appropriate to worship God and celebrate His great works.  Deborah was mightily used in a battle to conquer an enemy of God’s people.  After the victory, she wrote a beautiful worship song which is recorded in Judges 5. Worship is the proper response to accomplishments empowered by God.


-We should challenge the false gods of this world.  The example is set by Gideon, one of the judges:


Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the Lord had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night. And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they inquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing. (Judges 6:28)


-Religious symbols are idolatrous if they do not point us to God.  Gideon collected gold, ornaments, and raiment after he defeated the enemy and from these spoils made an ephod, part of the sacred garments of the priesthood. Gideon’s ephod was placed in his city in Ophrah and all of Israel worshipped there.  It became a spiritual snare to Gideon and his family (Judges 8:27).  Symbols become a form of spiritual prostitution if they do not point you to God.


 -Worship is the appropriate response after a visitation from the Lord.  Manoah and his wife were visited by the Angel of the Lord and told they would have a son named Samson.  Their response was to worship:


So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the Lord: and the angel did wondrously; and Manoah and his wife looked on. For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the Lord ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground. (Judges 13:19-20)


-God called and prepared people to fulfill their destinies during worship experiences.


And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the Lord hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.  (Judges 7:15)


-False worship has continuing consequences.  Judges 17-18 records the story of a man named Micah (not Micah the prophet).  This man made idols and secured his own priest, believing that God would bless him and his household.  His story is an example of how not to worship God, revealing the consequences of worshipping our own way rather than according to God’s Word.


From Micah’s story we learn several things.  First is that worshipping idols violates God’s command (Exodus 20:3).  Second, we learn that all worship must be based on the Bible.  The Word of God had commanded that worship be done in a specific manner, and Micah violated that.  He established his own system and worshipped the way he wanted. 


Third, we learn that false worship leads to sinful actions  When the people of Dan inquired concerning a place to settle, Micah’s priest told them what they wanted to hear, claiming that their plan had the Lord’s approval (Judges 18:6).  In reality, their journey resulted in the destruction of a peaceful town. 


Finally, we see the long-term effects of false worship.  The closing verses of this story reveal that “…the children of Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land. And they set them up Micah's graven image, which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh”  (Judges 18:30-31).  One man’s errant worship resulted in a false worship system that endured for several generations.






There is no mention of a formal worship gathering in the book of Ruth, and no mention of sacrifices, altars, or priests.  This book does contribute to the theology of worship however, as it portrays God as our Kinsman-Redeemer.


The four chapters of the book of Ruth tell the story of a woman named Naomi, who left Bethlehem with her husband and two sons to escape a famine.  While in Moab, Naomi’s husband and sons died and she was left with only her daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah.  When Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem, Orpha remained in Moab while Ruth chose to go with her.


When Naomi’s husband, Elimelech,  left Bethlehem, he either lost his property by indebtedness or sold it. When one lost or sold property, the title deed included the rules for redemption by the original owner.  Every 50 years, in the year of Jubilee, land was to be returned to its original owner. In between the years of Jubilee, property could be returned through redemption by a near kinsman.


The law of redemption is found in Leviticus 25:47-55. The obligations of the near kinsman relationship are outlined in Deuteronomy 25:5-10. The kinsman had to meet certain requirements:

            -He must be a near kinsman: Leviticus 25:25; Galatians 4:4-5.

            -He must be willing to redeem: Leviticus 25:48-49; Hebrews 2:11.

            -He must have the ability to redeem: John 10:11-18.

            -He must have the price of redemption: John 10:11-18.


Ruth met a man named Boaz who met all of these requirements.  He redeemed Naomi’s lost property, married Ruth, and they had a son who birthed Jesse who was the father of King David.

Boaz is a type of Jesus Christ who met all the spiritual requirements to be the Kinsman-Redeemer of sinful humanity.  Thus, even though the book of Ruth does not focus on worship, it focuses worship on our Savior who, as our Kinsman Redeemer,  has accomplished our redemption.






The book of First Samuel revolves around three main characters:  Samuel, Saul, and David. Samuel was a prophet and is a model of a true worshipper.  Saul, the first king of Israel, is a sad example of what happens when one sins, rejects true repentance, and walks away from worshipping God.  David is known as a man after God’s heart.  Although his story is stained with sin, he always repented and returned to worship.


First Samuel opens with the story of a woman named Hannah (1 Samuel 1).  Hannah was married to a man named Elkanah, who had another wife named Penninah who was able to have children, while Hannah remained barren.  To be barren in that time was considered a disgrace and was actually grounds for divorce.  Children were important--especially since Israel was an agrarian society and the more children one had, the more laborers.  Children also cared for their parents in their old age, as there was no welfare or retirement system, and they were also necessary for the survival of the nation of Israel.  For these reasons, Hannah was greatly grieved over her inability to have children.


Elkanah took his family to Shiloh each year to worship and sacrifice to the Lord.  This is where the Tabernacle of the Lord was located at that time and Eli served as priest. As Hannah was praying in the Temple asking God for a son, Eli accused her of being drunk since her lips were moving but her voice was not heard:


And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD. Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto. (1 Samuel 1:15-16)


Note that up to this point Hannah prayed out of her complaint and grief.  But something is about to change:


Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad. And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the Lord, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the Lord remembered her. (1 Samuel 1:17-19)


Hannah’s complaint turned to worship with God’s promise of a child.  Her son, Samuel, was born to her at the appointed time and her beautiful worship song is recorded in 1 Samuel 2:1-10.  Hannah is an example of how to worship in a time of supreme sacrifice, as Hannah fulfilled her vow to give her child to the Lord for His service.


Here are some other key principles concerning worship in the book of First  Samuel.


-Obedience is required for worship leaders.  Eli was the priest of Israel and his sons were in training for leadership.  Instead of obeying the commandment of the Lord regarding the sacred offerings which were part of worship, the young men were taking the best of what was sacrificed (1 Samuel 2:12-17). 


Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord: for men abhorred the offering of the Lord. (1 Samuel 2:17)


Because of their disrespect for the offerings of the Lord, Hophni and Phinehas both died within the same day (1 Samuel 2:34).


-We must guard against worshipping symbols. Facing a battle with the Philistines, the people of  Israel decided to fetch the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord so that it would save them from the enemy (1 Samuel 4:3-11).  They shouted in joy when the Ark came into the camp, but were soundly defeated by the enemy. They erred by looking to the symbol of God’s presence instead of looking to the God of the symbol.


-We must rid ourselves of things that compromise our worship of God. 


And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.  (1 Samuel 7:3)


-Worship is no substitute for obedience and repentance.  King Saul sinned by disobeying Samuel’s instructions and God’s commandments regarding worship by presuming to offer a sacrifice to God  (1 Samuel 13).  After being rebuked by Samuel (1 Samuel 15:25-30), Saul asked Samuel to worship the Lord with him so he would be honored before the people (1 Samuel 13:8-14a).  Saul offered worship when God was asking for repentance. God prefers obedience to sacrifice. Going through the form, no matter how sacred, means nothing if your heart is not right with God.  First Samuel 14:35 records that Saul built an altar to the Lord.  In 1 Samuel 15:12, he builds a monument to himself. 


-There is great power in music.  First Samuel 13:8-14 and 6:14-19, 23 records how David was called to play music for King Saul and, as he did, the evil spirits which tormented him fled.  It stands to reason that if spirits flee when godly music is played, then evil spirits can be summoned through ungodly music.




The book of Second Samuel covers the story of David under whose reign the nation of Israel prospered, defeated their enemies, and extended their borders.  After the positive record of David’s rule, his failures with Bathsheba and the subsequent death of their child is described.  The results of David’s sin led to the wickedness of his sons, violence, bloodshed, and rebellion within his family and the nation. 


Despite these adversities, the Lord graciously permitted David’s reign to become the standard by which the reigns of subsequent kings are measured.  (For examples, see 2 Kings 18:3; 22:2.)  The book ends with David worshipping God for delivering him from his enemies and thanking Him for the fulfillment of His promises.


Here are some key principles concerning worship in the book of Second Samuel.


-Order and spontaneity are both acceptable for worshipWhile the organization of worshippers by David teaches that there is a place of orderly worship, there is also a place for spontaneous praise. An example is when David danced before the Ark of God:


And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. (2 Samuel 6:14)


-Criticism of worship is costly.  David’s wife, Michal, criticized his worship and was struck barren (2 Samuel 6:20-23).  People often criticize worship styles that they do not understand, but to do so is costly.  You may become barren spiritually.


-Forgiveness of sins is necessary in order to engage in true worship.   After David’s sin with Bathsheba, he sought forgiveness from the Lord.  His prayers for repentance and restoration are recorded in Psalms 51 and 32. David realized that God wants obedience rather than sacrifice:


For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.  (Psalm 51:16-17)


 Psalm 32 ends with restored relationship and worship (Psalm 32:11).   


-You can worship after a tragic loss.  One of the results of David’s sin with Bathsheba was the death of their child.  David prayed for his healing, but the child died:


Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the Lord, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat. (2 Samuel 12:20)


-It is proper to offer thanks for God’s promises.  King David desired to build a Temple for the Lord, a place for the Ark and for the nation to worship.  The Prophet Nathan told David that  although he would not be permitted to build the Temple, the Lord would build him a house which would be an eternal dynasty.  In response to the tremendous promises of God, David sat before the Lord and worshipped (2 Samuel 7:18-29).


-God is not pleased with man-made altars.  In 2 Samuel 16, Ahaz replaced the altar of God with one of his own making.  In  many cases churches have replaced biblical worship with worldly entertainment.  Hollywood-type stages, lights, etc., are used to attract the modern generation.   We try to be more "seeker friendly" instead of  honoring God with worship the way He designed it.  We see something attractive in the world and import it into the house of God. The sanctuary becomes like a theater, with worship being a performance and the congregation an audience.


-God is worthy of worship because of His faithfulness.  Read David’s worship song in 

2 Samuel 22.  David praises God for His past and present faithfulness to him and the nation:


Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name.  (2 Samuel 22:50)


-True worship is costly.  David realized that true worship should cost something.  When his mighty men broke through to get water from the well of Bethlehem for him, David poured it out as an offering to the Lord  (2 Samuel 23:16).  When David was offered free property on which to build an altar, he refused:


And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel. 

(2 Samuel 24:24-25 )






First Kings opens with a transition of power from King David to his son Solomon.  Shortly after his coronation, Solomon built a beautiful temple of worship.  Sadly, over the years Solomon slowly slipped into idolatry, marrying foreign wives who influenced him with their false gods. 


Many of the kings following Solomon were also influenced by idolatry, and by the end of the book we see God’s prophet, Elijah, fearing for his life from an evil monarchy. The main lesson of this book is that idolatry and its associated sins gradually lure individuals and nations away from worship of the true God.


Here are some key principles concerning worship in the book of First Kings.


-God wants to abide with His people.  First Kings chapters 5-6 record the construction of the Temple under the leadership of King Solomon.  Read about the dedication of the temple and the Lord’s response in 1 Kings 8-9. God manifests His presence whenever and wherever worship is done according to His plan.


 -Creative and beautiful work in places of worship express love for God.  The Temple was filled with beautiful craftmanship to honor God (1 Kings 6:14-38).  Although places of worship need not be extravagant, we should do the best we can with our resources to make our buildings clean and attractive.


-We must usher in the presence of God.  Solomon and the elders of Israel brought the Ark of the Lord into the Temple:


And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims.

(1 Kings 8:6)


The Ark was the symbol of God’s presence.  We usher in the presence of the Lord through praise and worship.


-Worship should focus on God’s great works in our behalf.


And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the Lord, he arose from before the altar of the Lord, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven. And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying, Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant. 

(1 Kings 8:54-56)


-Corporate worship is important.  At the dedication of the temple…


     …the king, and all Israel with him, offered sacrifice before the Lord. (1 Kings 8:62)


-Idolatry results in spiritual barrenness.  God warned Solomon:


But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people: And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land, and to this house? And they shall answer, Because they forsook the Lord their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the Lord brought upon them all this evil. (1 Kings 9:6-9)


Sadly, this warning was not heeded and Solomon, successive kings, and the nation of Israel continuously committed idolatry  (1 Kings 16:31; 22:53).


-God hates idolatry.


And Judah did evil in the sight of the Lord, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they had committed, above all that their fathers had done. For they also built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill, and under every green tree.  (1 Kings 14:22-23)


-False worship arises from selfish motives.  Fearing that his people would go to Jerusalem to worship and abandon his kingdom, the evil King Rehoboam made two golden calves for the people to worship:


If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. (1 Kings 12:27-30)


Most cults and false religions center on a self-made prophet or leader who has selfish desires for wealth, praise, and power.


-There is no place for compromise regarding worship.  The story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18 is a powerful confrontation over worship.


So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel. And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.  (1 Kings 18:20-21)


There is no compromise in worship, no middle ground.  You must choose who you will worship.  Make the right choice.




Second Kings records the history of Israel and Judah from the time of the death of King Ahab of Israel to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.  Idolatry continues in this era, as it is repeatedly noted that “…the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places.” ( 2 Kings 12:3).  The Prophet Elisha, Elijah’s successor who was prominent at this time, boldly confronted idolatry. One of the most idolatrous kings was Manasseh, the king of Judah, who worshipped the host of heaven, built idolatrous altars in the house of the Lord, and practiced astrology and witchcraft. 


Here are some key principles concerning worship in the book of Second Kings.


-We should worship the One who redeemed us.


But the Lord, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice.   (2 Kings 17:36)


You were once a slave to sin.  Never forget Who redeemed you.  Worship Him.


-Leaders must take a stand regarding idolatry.  The leaders of Israel who were brave enough to remove the idolatrous high places and break down the images were blessed by God (2 Kings 18:4; 7; 23:5;14).  May God give us leaders who will stand for the truth in worship!


-Music creates an atmosphere for the prophetic.  When the Prophet Elisha was seeking a word from the Lord, he commanded:  “…now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him” (2 Kings 3:15).  Godly music created an atmosphere where Elisha could hear the prophetic voice of the Lord.  Ungodly music does not promote worship.


-You must worship God with your whole heart—no compromises.  King Jehu obeyed the Lord in some things, but never committed to God with his whole heart:


And the Lord said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel. But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin. (2 Kings 10:30-31)


-Offerings to the Lord are important to worship and maintaining places of worship.


And Jehoash said to the priests, All the money of the dedicated things that is brought into the house of the Lord, even the money of every one that passeth the account, the money that every man is set at, and all the money that cometh into any man's heart to bring into the house of the Lord, Let the priests take it to them, every man of his acquaintance: and let them repair the breaches of the house, wheresoever any breach shall be found. But it was so, that in the three and twentieth year of king Jehoash the priests had not repaired the breaches of the house. (2 Kings 12:4-6)


-There will always be rivals for your worship.


Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the Lord.  Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt. (2 Kings 17:28-29)


-Worship is the proper response in times of crisis.  Second Kings chapters 18-19 record how Hezekiah faced a formidable enemy alliance.  His response was to go to the house of the Lord where he worshipped and then presented his need to the Lord:


And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said, O Lord God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth. Lord, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, Lord, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God. Of a truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands, And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the

work of men's hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them. Now therefore, O Lord our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord God, even thou only. 

(2 Kings 19:15-19) 


That night, the angel of the Lord went into the camp of the enemy and slew the 185,000 Assyrians who were set to attack God’s people.


-When you forsake God, He withdraws His presence.  Much of 2 Kings is a history of idolatry and sin in Jerusalem.  For examples, see 2 Kings 17:16 and 21:3,21. Eventually, God removed

His name and His presence from Jerusalem and the Temple.  He could not allow His name to remain in the sinful city (2 Kings 23:25-28).  As a Believer, you also bear His name.  Be careful to honor it.






First Chronicles begins with several chapters of genealogies, starting with Adam and continuing through David’s reign.  Most of the remainder of the book retells the history of Israel up to the death of David. 


One beautiful worship scene is the return of the Ark of the Covenant where the Lord’s presence dwelt (1 Chronicles 15-16).  Priests, musicians, and singers were appointed to worship before the Ark (1 Chronicles 16:37,41-42; 23:5; 25:1,6-7).  David wrote and sang a great worship song

(1 Chronicles 16:8-34) and he appointed leaders to continuously worship the Lord:


And to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord, and likewise at even; And to offer all burnt sacrifices unto the Lord in the sabbaths, in the new moons, and on the set feasts, by number, according to the order commanded unto them, continually before the Lord.  (1 Chronicles 23:30-31)


David bought property for the future Temple of worship, and in his final address, David revealed the plans for the Temple which his son, Solomon, would build.  David made it clear that the pattern for the house of worship was given by the Lord (1 Chronicles 28:12,19).  He also declared his affection for the house of worship (1 Chronicles 29:3).


Here are some key principles concerning worship in the book of First Chronicles.


-You should offer your best to God in worship.  When David’s mighty men risked their lives to bring him a drink from the well in Bethlehem, David poured it out as an offering to the Lord.


 And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, that is at the gate! And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and

drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it out to the Lord.

(1 Chronicles 11:17-18)


-You should worship with all of your might.


And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.

(1 Chronicles 13:8)




-Those skilled in worship should teach others to worship.


And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was for song: he instructed about the song, because he was skilful.  (1 Chronicles 15:22)


In 1 Chronicles 25:1-7, David appointed 284 singers who were taught by Asaph and Heman to play instruments and worship the Lord with song in the house of the Lord.


-Worship may be noisy and exuberant at times.


Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps. (1 Chronicles 15:28)


-Worship songs should celebrate what God has done.  On the occasion of the ark arriving back in Jerusalem, David wrote the song recorded in 1 Chronicles 16:7-36 celebrating what God had done for the nation of Israel.


-Worship leads you to serve others.  Your love for God is expressed through service to others:


And when David had made an end of offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord. And he dealt to every one of Israel, both man and woman, to every one a loaf of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine. (1 Chronicles 16:2-3)


-Leaders should be appointed to the ministry of worship.  First Chronicles 25:1-7 records how David appointed musicians and singers to worship God continuously in the Temple and direct the people in worship.


-Your service should flow out of  worship.  King Solomon was warned:


And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.  Take heed now; for the Lord hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.  (1 Chronicles 28:9-10)


-Worship is the proper response to the blessings of God.  When massive offerings were brought to build the Temple…


Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the Lord: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy. Wherefore David blessed the Lord before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in

the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.  (1 Chronicles 29:9-13)


-You should bring an offering when you come to worship.  This may be a monetary gift, a sacrifice of praise to God, or a word to bless other worshippers:  “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him…”  (1 Chronicles 16:29).  The Apostle Paul declared: Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him…” (1 Corinthians 16:2).


-You must worship in the beauty of holiness.  Not self-righteousness, but holiness which comes through confession and forgiveness of sins by Jesus Christ:  “…Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness”  (1 Chronicles 16:29).


-Spiritual leaders should call people to worship.  After preparing all of the material resources for the Temple to be built by Solomon…


…David said to all the congregation, Now bless the Lord your God. And all the congregation blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the Lord, and the king.  (1 Chronicles 29:20)




After describing Solomon’s reign, Second Chronicles records the reigns of successive kings of Judah, many of whom led the people away from true worship.   The book also records some periods of worship renewal:  When Rehoboam humbled himself before the Lord; when Asa led the people to a recommitment to the covenant; and when Jehoshaphat sent worshippers into battle ahead of the army. Temple repairs were also organized by Joash, Hezekiah, and Josiah.


One of the greatest worship scenes in Second Chronicles is the dedication of the temple recorded in 2 Chronicles 5:13-14, chapters 6-7.


It came even to pass, as the trumpeters 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, 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.  (2 Chronicles 5:13-14)


Here are some key principles concerning worship in the book of Second Chronicles.


-Worship provides guidance.


 And Solomon went up thither to the brasen altar before the Lord, which was at the tabernacle of the congregation, and offered a thousand burnt offerings upon it. In that

night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee.

(2 Chronicles 1:6-7)


-Repentance renews the relationship necessary for worship.


 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name,

shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

(2 Chronicles 7:13-14)


-Worship is an appropriate response to God’s manifested presence.


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. 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, and worshipped, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.  (2 Chronicles 7:1-3)


-When true worship ceases, God’s presence withdraws.


But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations.  And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the Lord done thus unto this land, and unto this house? And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them. (2 Chronicles 7:19-22)


-Leaders should direct people away from idolatry to worship the true God.


And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God: For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves: And commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment. Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the images: and the kingdom was quiet before him. 

(2 Chronicles 14:2-5)


-Worship leads to victory in battle. Facing a formidable enemy, Jehoshaphat worshipped as all Israel stood in God’s presence (2 Chronicles 20:13).  They worshiped God in advance for the answer to their appeals (2 Chronicles 20:18) and then Jehoshaphat sent the worshippers first into the conflict:


And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.  (2 Chronicles 20:21-22)


This same principle is true in spiritual battle.  Worship wins the war!  The people gathered together to worship again after the battle:


And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there they blessed the Lord: therefore the name of the same place was called, The valley of Berachah, unto this day. Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies. And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries and harps and trumpets unto the house of the Lord. (2 Chronicles 20:26-28)


-There should be proper organization of the worship leaders.


All these were under the hands of their father for song in the house of the Lord, with cymbals, psalteries, and harps, for the service of the house of God, according to the king's order to Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman. (2 Chronicles 25:6)


-Biblical instructions for worship should be obeyed.  King Uzziah was a good ruler until he became proud and went into the temple to burn incense on the altar, something which was only to be done by the priests:


And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the Lord, that were valiant men: And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the Lord, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the Lord God. Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the Lord, from beside the incense altar. And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the Lord had smitten him. And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the Lord: and Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land.  (2 Chronicles 26:17-21)


Although this judgment occurred under the law and is unlikely to occur under the dispensation of grace, it illustrates that God takes worship seriously.


-The temple must be cleansed in order for worship to be restored.  Hezekiah reopened the doors of the house of the Lord during the first year of his reign.  He challenged the Levites to cleanse the temple because of the sins of the previous generation so that true worship could be restored:


And the priests went into the inner part of the house of the Lord, to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of the Lord into the court of the house of the Lord. And the Levites took it, to carry it out abroad into the brook Kidron.  (2 Chronicles 29:16)


-Music, offerings, and praise are part of meaningful worship.


And he set the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king's seer, and Nathan the prophet: for so was the commandment of the Lord by his prophets. And the Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. And Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering upon the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the Lord began also with the trumpets, and with the instruments ordained by David king of Israel. And all the congregation worshipped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded: and all this continued until the burnt offering was finished. And when they had made an end of offering, the king and all that were present with him bowed themselves, and worshipped.  (2 Chronicles 29:25-30)


-Repentance leads to revival and worship.  Hezekiah sent decrees throughout all Israel calling for the people to return to God,  repent, and come to Jerusalem to worship the Lord:


And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness: and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day, singing with loud instruments unto the Lord.  (2 Chronicles 30:21)


One person can lead a revival of repentance that will draw others to return to worship of the true God.


-Reading, understanding, and obeying God’s Word are essential for worship.  When the lost book of the Lord was found, King Josiah commanded his servants to gather the people together…


And the king went up into the house of the Lord, and all the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, great and small: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the Lord. And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book. And he caused all that were present in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers.  (2 Chronicles 34:30-32)


-There is only one way to worship: The only way to worship is God’s way:


Hath not the same Hezekiah taken away his high places and his altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall worship before one altar, and burn incense upon it?  (2 Chronicles 32:12)


New Testament Believers worship through Jesus Christ.  He is the only way to God.


-No matter how far you have strayed from worship of the true God, you can return through repentance.  Manasseh was one of the most evil kings who ever ruled:


For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up altars for Baalim, and made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.  (2 Chronicles 33:3)


Then Manasseh was taken captive by the king of Assyria and…


…when he was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh took away the strange gods, and the idol out of the house of the Lord, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the Lord, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city.  And he repaired the altar of the Lord, and sacrificed thereon peace offerings and thank offerings, and commanded Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel. (2 Chronicles 33:12-16)




The book of Ezra records the rebuilding of Temple in Jerusalem and the unification of the returning tribes. Among those returning to Jerusalem were worshippers:


The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore, Beside their servants and their maids, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and there were among them two hundred singing men and singing women. (Ezra 2:64-65)


After the original remnant stopped work on the Temple and spiritual apathy developed, Ezra arrived with another two thousand people and sparked a spiritual revival. By the end of the book, Israel had rebuilt the Temple and renewed their covenant with God.







Here are some key principles concerning worship in the book of Ezra.


-Giving is an act of worship.


And some of the chief of the fathers, when they came to the house of the Lord which is at Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God to set it up in his place: They gave after their ability unto the treasure of the work threescore and one thousand drams of gold, and five thousand pound of silver, and one hundred priests' garments.  (Ezra 2:68-69)


-Worship must have priority.  The first thing the people did when they returned to Jerusalem was rebuild the altar and lay a foundation for the Temple which had been destroyed:


And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the Lord, after the ordinance of David king of Israel. And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the Lord; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.  (Ezra 3:10-11)


-The enemy will always oppose true worship.  In chapter 4 of Ezra, the adversaries of God’s people heard that they were rebuilding the Temple and asked if they could join them. They said:


Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do; and we do sacrifice unto him since the days of Esar-haddon king of Assur, which brought us up hither. (Ezra 4:2)


But the leaders of Israel said:


Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves together will build unto the Lord God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia hath commanded us.  Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.  (Ezra 4:3-5)


The enemy is always against worship, regardless of their claims otherwise.  In Ezra 4:23-24, the work on the temple was forced to stop, but Zerubbabel began to rebuild the house of God with the help of the prophets of God (Ezra 5:1-2).  King Cyrus came to their aid and said, “let the house of God be built!” (Ezra 5:15).  In Ezra 6:16, the house of the Lord was dedicated with great joy.


-God requires holiness in worship. You cannot willingly continue in sin.  The temple was completed, but some of the people were not prepared spiritually to worship:


 Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.  For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass. And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied. (Ezra 9:1-3)


Those who had violated the law were judged, repented, and past wrongs were made right (Ezra 10:12-14).




Nehemiah was serving as a cupbearer to a powerful Persian king when he heard that the walls in Jerusalem were broken down and its gates were destroyed by fire.  Heartbroken, Nehemiah asked the king for permission to return and rebuild Jerusalem's walls. With an armed escort, supplies, and letters from the king, Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem on a mission to rebuild the walls.


Immediately Nehemiah met opposition from Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite, neighboring governors, who feared a fortified Jerusalem.  Despite the opposition, the wall was finished in 52 days under the leadership of Nehemiah. 


After the completion of the wall, Ezra, who was both a priest and scribe, led the people in a powerful worship service:


And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel. And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law. And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose…And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:

And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground… and the Levites caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place. So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.  (Nehemiah 8:1-8)


Nehemiah chapter 12 describes worship during the dedication of the city walls:


And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps. 

(Nehemiah 12:27)


Together, Nehemiah and Ezra reestablished civil and religious order in Jerusalem, casting out foreign influences and purifying the city.


Here are some key principles concerning worship in the book of Nehemiah.


-Worship is a fitting response to the Word of God. 


And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel. And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law…And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up: And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.  (Nehemiah 8:1-6)


-The Word of God, confession of sin, and worship are complementary.  They flow together seamlessly in worship.


And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the Lord their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the Lord their God.  (Nehemiah 9:3)


-Both leaders and the congregation should be involved in worship.  There should be no spectators in worship!


And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground. (Nehemiah 8:6)


-Joyful worship is appropriate to celebrate what God has done.  Nehemiah chapter 12 describes worship of celebration upon completion of the wall around Jerusalem…


…that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off.  (Nehemiah 12:46)


And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites out of all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem, to keep the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings, and with singing, with cymbals, psalteries, and with harps. 

(Nehemiah 12:27)


-The house of God must be cleansed in order for true worship to continue. Sometime after the dedication of the wall, two sinful leaders, Eliashib and Tobiah,  prepared chambers in the Temple where they were misappropriating the offerings and sacrifices. 


And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.  (Nehemiah 13:5)


During this time, Nehemiah was not present in Jerusalem, as he was with King Artaxerxes.  He records that…


…after certain days obtained I leave of the king: And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the evil that Eliashib did for Tobiah, in preparing him a chamber in the courts of the house of God. And it grieved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber. Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense.  (Nehemiah 13:6-9)




The book of Esther does not mention the name of God, nor does it refer to laws regarding worship, sacrifices, offerings, or the priesthood.  The story is set in Persia and concerns the Jew’s deliverance from enemies who were trying to destroy them. A young woman named Esther is chosen by God and used to orchestrate the victory. 


So what does this have to do with worship? The story of Esther directs our worship to acknowledge the sovereignty of God who is in control of all things and delivers His people from adversity.


There is also a very powerful analogy in what is revealed regarding evil Haaman, the man who plotted against the Jews and set in motion forces to destroy them.  Haaman is symbol of Satan, in that he was originally above all princes, just as Satan was above the other angels (Esther 3:l).  Like Satan, Haaman craved worship  (Esther 6:6-10).   Satan is your spiritual enemy and his desire is the same as at the beginning of time:  He wants your worship.  You may not actually fall down and worship him, but if you give allegiance to anything other than God then you are worshipping Satan.


If you stand for the truth of God’s Word and worship Him in spirit and truth in the face of adversity, then you will experience similar outcomes as in the book of Esther:


-The enemy will fall before you: 6:13.

-The enemy will fear you: 7:6 and 8:l7.

-The enemy will be defeated on his own territory: 8:5. 

-The enemy’s strategy will be reversed. His own plans will be executed upon him: 9:25.

-The enemy will be unable to deter God’s plan: 9:2.

-There will be light, joy, gladness, and honor your life: 8:l5-l6,l7.

-Others will be drawn to the truth because of what they observe in your life:  8:l7.

-There will be rest from the enemy: 9:l6.

-There will be spiritual abundance with plenty to share with others: 9:22.

-Sorrow will be turned into joy, evil turned to good: 9:22.

-Future generations will benefit from the outcome of the spiritual battles you win:  9:28.


What a powerful legacy results from worshipping the true God!









































1.         Write the key verse.





2.         Summarize worship principles from the book of Joshua.








3.         Summarize worship principles from the book of Judges.







4.         Summarize worship principles from the book of Ruth.







5.         Summarize worship principles from the books of First and Second Samuel.







6.         Summarize worship principles from the books of First and Second Kings.










7.         Summarize worship principles from the books of First and Second Chronicles.







8.         Summarize worship principles from the book of Ezra.







9.         Summarize worship principles from the book of Nehemiah.







10.       Summarize worship principles from the book of Esther.





11.       How will you apply what you learned about worship in this chapter?





            Spend some time in worship when you complete this lesson.


(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)






Turn to Appendix Two and study the references to “worship” and “worshipped” in the historical books of Joshua through Esther.











Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

            -Summarize when and where worship occurred according to the psalms.

            -Summarize how people worshipped according to the psalms.

            -Apply worship principles from the book of Psalms to your own worship experience.

            -Summarize worship principles in the book of Proverbs.

            -Summarize worship principles in the book of Ecclesiastes.

            -Summarize worship principles in the book of Song Of Solomon.




            O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.

             (Psalm 96:5)




This chapter is one of six describing worship in the Old Testament.  This chapter details worship in the poetical Book of Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon. (The book of Job is also considered a poetical book, but was dealt with in chapter six on early worship in Old Testament times, as it is one of the oldest books of the Bible and its comments on worship predate the other poetical books.)




The book of Psalms was written to Israel, but it has been used by Believers down through the centuries for devotion, prayer, praise, and worship.  This chapter surveys what the Psalms teaches about worship, principles which can be applied to your own worship times.




-They got up in the middle of the night to praise Him: Psalm 119:62.

-They set aside seven times a day to pause and praise Him: Psalm 119:164.

-They praised Him while lying in bed at night:  Psalm 149:5; 119:48, 55.

-They went to the house of the Lord at night to worship: Psalm 134:1.

-They praised God in the sanctuary: Psalm 150.








-They came before His presence with thanksgiving.  They learned that thanksgiving and praise

brought them into God’s presence:


            Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto    him, and bless his name. (Psalm 100:4)


Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.  (Psalm 95:2)


-They worshipped in silence.   Psalm 46:10 encourages us to “be still, and know that He is God.” This is not dead, meaningless silence, rather it is silent worship. Revelation 8:1 tells of a time the seventh seal is opened and there is silence in heaven for half an hour.    


-They worshipped by bowing.  The psalmist admonished:


O 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. (Psalm 95:6-7)


-They shouted.  Psalm 47:1 encourages worshippers to “Shout to God with the voice of triumph”. When Judah was under attack by the enemy,  the Levites stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice (2 Chronicles 20:19).  The following psalms speak of shouting to the Lord:  Psalm 5:11; 32:11; 35:27; 47:1; 132:9,16.


-They made a joyful noise.  Worship in Psalms is often depicted as loud and joyous:


O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. (Psalm 95:1-2)


Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. (Psalm 100:1)


-They clapped their hands. Psalm 47:1 says, “Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph!” Praise can be expressed by clapping and shouting.  People clap their hands and shout at many events.  How much more should we applaud and celebrate God.


-They lifted their hands.  Psalm 63:4 says, “Thus will I bless thee while I live. I will lift up my hands in thy name.”


-They worshipped with singing.  Repeatedly in the book of Psalm we are admonished to sing unto the Lord.  David said He would sing praises as long as he lived (Psalm 146:1-2) and he encourages singing a new song to the Lord (Psalm 98:1).


-They used musical instruments.  They praised the Lord with trumpets, lutes, harps, timbrels (tambourine); stringed instruments; and loud, clashing cymbals (Psalm 150).   They also worshipped on special instruments including:

-Alamoth:                                High-pitched harps

-Gittith:                                   Similar to the modern guitar

-Mahalath:                               Flutes

-Mahalath Leannoth:             Special flutes played in times of mourning

-Sheminith:                             A lyre or five stringed harp


They were encouraged to play skillfully (Psalm 33:3). David assigned some of the Levites as worship musicians, and music became a permanent part of worship (1 Chronicles 23:5; 26:1-8). Some groups believe you should not use instruments when worshiping God because instruments are not mentioned in the New Testament, but 1 Corinthians 10:11 declares that everything in the Old Testament was written as examples from which we are to learn.


-They worshipped with dancing.  Psalm 150:4 says, “Praise him with the timbrel and dance.” When the Ark was brought back to Jerusalem, David was so excited that he danced before the Lord with all his might. Michal, his wife, thought he was making a fool of himself and criticized him.  As a result, God struck her barren (2 Samuel 6). Two lessons here:  First, you should not be ashamed to worship God passionately. Second, you should not criticize others for their worship, as it may result in your own spiritual barrenness (Psalm 149:1,3).


-They worshipped with passion. Psalms 103:1 declares: “Bless the Lord, oh my soul and all that is within me, bless His holy name.” Worship God with every part of your being:  Body, soul, and spirit.




Use the following summary of every chapter in the book of Psalms to worship God.  Perhaps select a psalm each day for 150 days of worship.


Psalm 1: Worship is described as a life choice resulting in a happy, rewarding, and stable relationship with God.                           


Psalm 2:  Worship God despite your questions and the adverse circumstances of living among the heathen of this world.                              


Psalm 3:  Worship God in the face of adversity by affirming who He is and what He has done.  He is your shield; your glory; and the lifter of your head (3).  He hears you when you cry (4) and you can lay down and sleep peacefully while the Lord sustains you (5).  Thank Him that you do not have to be afraid (6); that He will save you (7); and that He will render judgment on your enemies and the ungodly (7).




Psalm 4:  Worship God in awe, holiness, righteousness, and trust (1-5). Thank Him that He hears when you call on Him when you are in distress (1).  Worship Him at night (4) and sleep peacefully in safety (5).  Thank Him for the gladness He has put in your heart despite the circumstances (7).


Psalm 5:  Direct your worship to God in fear (awe), acknowledging that He is a hearing God

(1-3) and a Holy God (4).


Psalm 6: Worship before you see the manifestation of answers to your prayers (8-10).


Psalm 7: Worship God in the face of slander, proclaiming His righteousness and His name (17).

Repeatedly, the Psalmist exhorts us to praise God’s name.  Use the various names of God in your worship.


Psalm 8:  Worship God because of His name, His manifested glory, the way in which He deals with the enemy, His beautiful creation, and His loving care for mankind—including you.


Psalm 9:  Worship is an act of your will.  The Psalmist says “I will” (1).   Worship should be done with your whole heart (1).   Worship Him because He deals with your enemy and does not forget the cry of the afflicted and humble (11-12).  Worship Him because He brought you up from death to life through salvation (13-14).  Worship Him because of His past faithfulness which gives you confidence to face the future.


Psalm 10:  Worship God even when He seems far off (1), knowing that He will eventually conquer the enemy and deal with the negative circumstances in your life (14-18).


Psalm 11: Worship God because He is sovereign over all heaven and earth (4-7).


Psalm 12: Worship God because of His Word that overcomes the rebellious words and threats of the wicked.


Psalm 13: This chapter reveals that you can worship in the face of spiritual delays, praising God for His mercy, salvation, and abundant provision.


Psalm 14:  Worship God, be glad, and rejoice, because He will reverse the captivity of His people  (7).


Psalm 15:  You might think the requirements in this chapter create a barrier to worship, but that is not true.  You can purify your worship by following these guidelines.  You may worship imperfectly in the temporary “tent”  of your mortality, but someday your worship will be perfect and complete when you enter the presence of God to worship for eternity.


Psalm 16:  Verses 5-9 list many reasons to worship God.   You can also worship Him because your eternal future is secure (9-11).


Psalm 17: Verses 6-7 list specific reasons to worship God. Follow the outline of this chapter to worship God knowing that He hears you, judges you, examines you, guides you, manifests Himself to you, guards, delivers, and satisfies you.


Psalm 18:  Verse 3 declares that God is worthy to be praised. Personalize David’s descriptions of the Lord in verses 1-2 and 30-48 as you worship.           


Psalm 19:  Worship God for His creation (1-6) and for His Word (7-11).  Thank Him for cleansing you from secret faults and presumptuous sins (12-13.  Let your words and meditations be acceptable in His sight.                          


Psalm 20:  Rejoice as you worship God for His salvation (5) and because He hears when you call (9).                


Psalm 21:  Worship God for what He has done in the past and what He will do in the future.                               

Psalm 22:  God is enthroned upon and inhabits your worship (3).  God will be worshipped by all true Believers, in the Church, by Israel, and by all nations (22-23,25).  Those who seek the Lord will worship Him (26) and all people, both rich and poor, will someday worship Him  (29).   


Psalm 23:  Worship God as your Great Shepherd.   


Psalm 24:  Prepare your heart for worship by self-examination using verses 3-4.  Seek God’s face, not just the works of His hands (verse 6).  Open the doors of your heart through worship, and the King of glory will enter in (9-10).


Psalm 25:  Worship God in gratitude for His protection (1-3); His piloting of your path (4-5); and His pardon for your sin (6-7,11).  Thank Him that He prepares you to walk in His ways (8-11), prospers you (12-15), and preserves you from the enemy (16-21).


Psalm 26:  Prepare your heart for worship through repentance.  Worship Him by praising, publishing, preaching, and pursuing Him  (6-7).  Participate in corporate worship by being prepared to make a personal contribution (12b).                 


Psalm 27:  Use verses 2-3 to worship God for what He has done in the past and present.  Note the psalmist’s priority of worship in verse 4.  Verses 6-8 contain a strategy for worshipping in the dark times of life.                             


Psalm 28:  Lift your hands in worship as the psalmist did in verse 2.  Use verses 6-7 to worship the Lord because He has heard your supplication, given you strength, served as your shield, saved you, and given you a song. Worship Him with a new song.                        


Psalm 29:  Give God the glory due to His strength and His name. Worship Him in the beauty of holiness (1-3).                               


Psalm 30:  Enter into worship by thanking God for the benefits that are listed in verses 1-3.  Realize that the trials you go through have the end result that you will praise God and worship Him forever (12).  Follow the admonitions of this psalm to sing to the Lord (3) and dance before Him (11).                                


Psalm 31: Worship God for His righteousness (1); His name (3); as Redeemer (5); for His mercy (9); for His goodness (19); for His presence (20); for His kindness (21); and as a rewarder of the righteous (23).        


Psalm 32:  Use verses 7-11 to enter God’s presence with praise.  Worship God for His forgiveness, which is the theme of this chapter.  Rejoice in Him and shout for joy (11).


Psalm 33:  Worship the Lord for His Word (4-5); His creation (6-9); His sovereignty (10-12); His presence (13-15); His deliverance (16-17); and His protection (18-19).          


Psalm 34:  Worship is an act of your will (1).  His praise should continuously be in your mouth (1) and you should invite others to worship Him (3-4). Worship the Lord for who He is (1-3); His faithfulness (4-6); His protection (7); and His provision (8-10). Thank Him for His imputed righteousness that makes possible the relationship described in verses 15-22.                                 


Psalm 35:  Even though you are in the midst of a great battle (1-8), you can choose to rejoice in the Lord by worshipping Him as your Savior and Deliverer ( 9-10).  Give thanks to Him in the congregation and among all the people (18).  Use verses 27-28 to shout for joy, magnify the Lord, and speak of His righteousness and praise.


Psalm 36:  Worship God for His mercy and faithfulness (5); His lovingkindness and righteousness (6,7,10); and His righteous judgment (6).                                


Psalm 37:  Although worship is not seeking to receive, when you delight in worshipping the Lord, He will give you the desires of your heart (4).  Through worship, your desires come into alignment with His desires and He grants your requests. Resting and waiting before the Lord is an important element of worship (7).                       


Psalm 38: True worship can only be restored when your sins are forgiven (18-22).                                   

Psalm 39:  Worship God for the hope that is in Him (7).                             


Psalm 40:  Worship God as deliverer (1-2,17). Worship Him with a new song (3).  Worship Him for His righteousness, faithfulness, salvation, loving kindness, and truth (10).  As you seek Him, rejoice and be glad in Him and continually magnify Him (16).  Note that it is not religious rituals that please God (6).           


Psalm 41:  Worship God because of His goodness, preservation, and deliverance (1-3).  Worship Him because of His compassion and favor (10-12).                      


Psalm 42:  Your desire for worship should be like that expressed in verses 1-2.  Despite negative circumstances, you should “yet praise Him” (5,11).  You can worship wherever you are, even if you are in exile (6).         


Psalm 43:  When you are cast down and your soul is troubled, chose to worship (4-5).  Worship Him as your hope, the health of your countenance, and your God (6).


Psalm 44:  As you face the challenges ahead, reflect on God’s faithfulness in the past (18).  Use verses 4-8 to worship God by faith for the future.  Worship using the powerful names of God (5).         

Psalm 45:  Worship God because of His righteousness (7).  Worship God because He greatly desires your beauty and He is your Lord (11).  Praise Him forever and ever, making His name known to all generations through worship (17).


Psalm 46:  Worship God because of His presence which is manifested in the troublesome times of life (1).  Worship Him as your help in the present (4-7) and as your deliverer in the future (8-9).  Verse 10 admonishes you to be still and know He is God.  Sitting quietly in the presence of the Lord is an important element of worship.                                 


Psalm 47:  This whole chapter concerns worship.  Expressions of worship include clapping your hands (1); shouting with a voice of triumph (1);  singing praises to God (6); and singing praises with understanding (7). It is important that the songs you sing are understood as sound doctrine in harmony with God’s Word.  Worship Him because of His awesome works (2); as the great King over the earth (2,3,8,9);  for the inheritance He has planned for you (4); because He subdues the enemy (3); for His holiness (8); and because He is greatly exalted (9).        


Psalm 48:  Proclaim that the Lord is great and worship Him greatly (1).  Worship Him as your refuge (3);  for His lovingkindness (9);  His name and His righteous judgments (10-11); and  His guidance (14).


Psalm 49:  Worship God for redemption from the power of the grave (15).           


Psalm 50: Worship God for His splendor, His sovereignty, and His righteous judgments, all of which are described in this chapter.  Note that lack of worship was one of the reasons for God’s judgment (14).  Worship glorifies God (23).


Psalm 51:   Sing a worship song about God’s righteousness (14).  Open your lips and show forth His praise (15).  Thank God for the forgiveness of sin which permits acceptable worship (16-19).                 

Psalm 52:  Worship God for His mercy (8); His good name (9); and His righteous works (9).                              

Psalm 53:  Worship God for His righteous judgment (5) and His salvation and deliverance (6).                           

Psalm 54:  Worship God for the salvation extended by His name and His righteous judgments (1,5,6).     Offer a sacrifice of praise (6) and thank Him for deliverance (7).                


Psalm 55:  Let God hear your voice in worship throughout the day (17).                           


Psalm 56:  Thank God for His Word (4,10) and render praise to Him (12).            


Psalm 57:  Use verses 7-11 to worship the Lord.  Worship early (8).  Worship among the people and the nations (9).  Use an instrument to worship the Lord (8).  If you do not play an instrument, use something simple like a tambourine or a drum.   Worship Him for His mercy and truth (11).


Psalm 58: We have not yet seen the final judgment of wickedness, but use verse 10 to rejoice and worship the Lord in anticipation of His righteous judgment to come.                              


Psalm 59: The psalmist not only encourages us to sing, but tells us what to sing.  Sing a worship song to the Lord about His power and His mercy.  Worship Him because He has been your defense, refuge, and strength in times of trouble (16-17).                            


Psalm 60:  This psalm was written in a time of national defeat, yet the psalmist says “I will rejoice” (16). God has given His people a spiritual banner—Jehovah Nissi—the Lord our banner (4).  The psalmist rejoices because God has spoken and he knows that in the end he will triumph over the enemy (12).          No matter what your circumstances, rejoice.  Worship God.  As you worship, you will bring negative circumstances under the spiritual banner of Jehovah Nissi and God will triumph over your enemy.  


Psalm 61:  Worship God as your shelter (3); strong tower (3); and for the rich spiritual heritage He has given you (5).  Sing praises to His name (8).  Note that worship enables you to fulfill your commitments to God (8).                                   


Psalm 62:  Use verses 5-7 to worship God because He is your hope, your rock, your salvation,

your defense, your stability, your glory, your strength, and your refuge.


Psalm 63:  Worship God because of His lovingkindness (3).  Lift your hands in worship (4).  Worship and meditate on God in the night time (6).                                   


Psalm 64:  Be glad and glory in the Lord (10).  Praise Him for all of the “but God” moments in your life when He intervened in your circumstances (7).                                


Psalm 65:  God has chosen you and made it possible for you to approach Him and dwell in His courts (4).  Use verses 6-13 to worship God as creator and sustainer of the world.                                


Psalm 66:  Heed the call to worship in verses 1-4.  Use verses 5-12 to worship God for His works.  Bless the Lord and make His praises heard (8).            


Psalm 67:  Heed the commands to worship in verses 3-5.                           


Psalm 68:  Let the righteous rejoice and worship before God (3).  Sing unto God, sing praises to His name (4,32).   Extol Him by His name Jah (4).  Rejoice before Him (4).  Bless the Lord for

the daily benefits He bestows, including salvation.  Let the singers and instrumentalists bless the Lord  (26). Ascribe strength and excellency to God (34).  Let all the earth worship Him (32).                         

Psalm 69:  Despite the negative circumstances described in this chapter, the psalmist chooses to praise God with a song and magnify Him with thanksgiving.  This pleases the Lord more than sacrifices, things like giving money or your works.  When others see you worship in the midst of difficult circumstances, they will take note.  Even Heaven and earth will join in your praise.  (30-34)                        


Psalm 70:  Rejoice and be glad in God.  Continually declare, “Let God be magnified” (4).           


Psalm 71:  Praise God continually (6).  Let your mouth be filled with His praise (8).  Praise Him all the day (14-15).  Worship Him who has done great things—there is no one like Him (19).  Praise Him with instruments, with truth, with your lips, with your soul, and with your tongue (22-24).       


Psalm 72:  Bless the Lord God who does wondrous things (18).   Bless His glorious name forever (19).  Let the earth be filled with His glory (19).                                  


Psalm 73:  The psalmist is distressed and does not understand what is occurring in the world.  It seems that wickedness is out of control.  When He goes to the sanctuary of God to worship, then he gains understanding. Despite the difficult circumstances, the psalmist declares the faithfulness of God (23-28). In hard times it is good to draw near to God in worship (28).                            


Psalm 74:  In the midst of this psalm which describes deplorable conditions brought on by the enemy, the psalmist  proclaims God as the King who is working salvation in the earth.  He worships God for His faithfulness in the past (12-17) and calls for a return to worship by all those who depend upon Him (21).  Note in verses 3-9a that the plot of the enemy is to destroy worship.                                


Psalm 75:  Give thanks to God for His name and His wondrous works which declare His name; for His righteous judgments; and for His sustaining of the pillars of earth (1).  Declare His works forever and sing praises to Him (9).                             


Psalm 76:  Worship God because He is knowable and His name is great (1).  Worship Him because He is glorious, excellent, and to be feared (14 and 17).  Praise Him for righteous judgments (10).  Thank Him that He restrains the wrath of man (10).  Worship Him by fulfilling your vows and by your giving (11).                                 


Psalm 77:  Worship is an act of your will.  Despite his negative circumstances, the psalmist declares “I will” remember and meditate (10-12).   He changes his focus from questioning and rehearsing his problems to meditating on what God had done in the past.  He proclaims God is great (13).  He remembers his song in the night-times of life (6).                        


Psalm 78:  Worship God for what He has done in the past.  Israel forgot His works and His wonders (11) and, as a result, they turned to idolatry and iniquity (59).                        


Psalm 79:  Give thanks to God forever.  Show forth His praise to all generations (13).                             

Psalm 80:  The key to victory in dark times such as described in this Psalm is to call upon the name of the Lord.  Use God’s names to worship despite the negative circumstances in life.                              

Psalm 81:  Verses 1-3 call for unrestrained worship of God.  Sing loudly to Him.  Make a joyful noise.  Sing a psalm with musical accompaniment.  Worship should also include an education in truth and obedience to God, lest we forget (4-16).  Note that only the true God is to be worshipped (9).                


Psalm 82:  This psalm laments the injustices of this world.  Worship God as the righteous judge of the earth (8).                              


Psalm 83:  Praise God for His righteous judgments that enable men to know Him as the most High God over the earth (18).             


Psalm 84:  When you dwell in God’s presence, worship will continuously flow through you, even when you pass through the valley of sorrow (4,6).  The awesome wonders of worship are described in verse 10.  Worship God as your sun and shield, for His grace and glory, and for all the blessings bestowed upon you (11-12).                      


Psalm 85:  Revival leads to worship which results in joy (6).  Worship God for His forgiveness (2), His mercy and salvation (7),  His truth, His righteousness, and His peace (10).                         


Psalm 86:  Declare that God is good, ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy (5).   Declare that there is none like Him among the gods (8).  Affirm that all nations will come to worship before Him and glorify His name (9).  Proclaim that He is great, that He does wondrous things, and that He is the only God (10).  Worship with all of your heart and glorify His name (12).  Praise Him for His mercy and deliverance (13).  Praise God for His help and comfort in difficult times (17).  Note that praise is an act of your will (12).               


Psalm 87:  This psalm reflects what it will be like when you are with God forever in your eternal home.  All the joys of a God-centered life are reflected in the music of worship (7).


Psalm 88:  This is one of the few psalms that begins and concludes on a sad note, yet the psalmist calls upon the Lord of his salvation (1) and continues to pray despite his troubles (13). Worship God because when all else fails, He remains faithful.                       


Psalm 89: Sing of the Lord’s mercies and make His faithfulness known by your worship.

Praise the wonders of the Lord.  Use verses 1-18 to worship Him.                          


Psalm 90:  Worship the Lord as your spiritual dwelling and as creator of the earth (1-2). Thank God for His mercy that enables you to rejoice and be glad in Him (14).  The beauty of the Lord rests upon those who worship God (17).                              


Psalm 91:  The true worshipper dwells in the secret place of the most High (1).  Worship God using His four names mentioned in verses 1-2: Most High, Almighty, Lord, and God.  Thank God for His provision and protection as detailed in this Psalm.  


Psalm 92:  Celebrate God’s name in worship. Sing praises and worship Him using instruments.  Thank Him for His loving kindness, His faithfulness, and the works of His hands. (1-5).  Note the results of living a lifestyle of worship:  You will bring forth fruit in old age and flourish (14).                                   

Psalm 93: This entire Psalm is one of worship of the true God who reigns in majesty and strength.  He reigns over the world, the Heavens, the floods of circumstances, and nations, and does so on the basis of His Word and the sure foundations of our faith.                        


Psalm 94:  Worship God for what He has done in your behalf in times past (17-18).  Thank God for His comfort in hard times (19).  Despite the difficult circumstances described in this psalm, the psalmist breaks forth in worship with “but” the Lord is my defense, my God, the rock of my refuge (22).                                     


Psalm 95:   The appeal is to sing unto the Lord and make a joyful noise to Him (1).  Come before His presence with thanksgiving and with psalms (2).  Worship Him because He is great, because He is the King above all gods, and for His creative acts (3-5).   Worship, bow down, and kneel--physical acts of submission to the Lord (6). Worship Him because He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the sheep of His hand  (7).  The description of worship in this passage is one of an uninhibited joyous celebration.                        


Psalm 96:  Sing to the Lord in worship, bless His name, and show forth His salvation daily by your life-style of worship (1-2).  Declare His glory to the heathen, all people, nations, and kindreds of people and appeal to them to worship God also (3-6).  Give praise to the Lord for His glory, His strength, and His name.  Bring an offering of praise as you enter His courts (7-8).  Worship Him in holiness and awesome fear (9).  Worship Him because He reigns, the world shall be established, and He shall judge it righteously (10).  A call to rejoice in praise is given in verses 11-12 and the reasons are given in verse 13.                             


Psalm 97:  The opening command is for the earth to rejoice in worship because the Lord reigns (1).  The false gods of the world are to worship Him (7).  Worship because of His righteous judgments (8) and because He is high above the earth and exalted above all gods (9).  The final command is to rejoice in the Lord and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness (12).                               

Psalm 98:  This entire psalm is a psalm of praise.  Sing a new song because of the marvelous things God has done (1).  Worship Him for what He has done in the past (1-3); the present (4-6); and what He will do in the future (7-9).  Make a joyful noise, a loud noise, rejoice, and sing praise (4) for He comes to judge the earth in righteousness and equity (9).  Use musical instruments to worship Him (5-6).                                


Psalm 99:  Praise God’s great and awesome name, for it is holy (3).  Exalt the Lord and worship at His footstool and His holy hill (5,9).                               


Psalm 100:  In verses 1-4, the psalmist exhorts worshippers to:

                        -Make a joyful noise to the Lord.

                        -Serve the Lord with gladness.

                        -Come into His presence with singing.

                        -Know Him through personal experience as Creator.

                        -Enter His gates with thanksgiving.

                        -Enter His courts with praise.

                        -Give thanks to Him.

                        -Bless His name.

The reasons:  He is good, His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations (5)


Psalm 101: Sing of the mercy and judgment of the Lord (1).                                   


Psalm 102:  Verses 12 and 27 praise the everlasting God.  Verse 18 declares that all those created shall praise Him (18).       


Psalm 103:  This entire chapter focuses on worship.  It begins and ends with “blessing the Lord” with all your soul, meaning your whole being.  Personal worship is lifted in verses 1-5; national worship in verses 6-18; and all creation worships in verses 19-22.     


Psalm 104:  This psalm is a celebration of creation.  It begins and ends with “blessing the Lord” with all your soul, meaning your whole being (1 and 35).  Use verses 1-4 to worship God for His work in the heavens.  Use verses 5-26 to worship Him for His work in the earth.  Verses 27-32 extol God’s purposes, and verses 33-35 can be lifted in personal praise to the Creator.  Meditation is included as part of worship (34).  Be glad in the Lord (34).  Make the declaration that as long as you have your being, you will sing praise to the Lord (32).


Psalm 105:  Verses 1-5 are a call to worship.  The commands are to give thanks; to call upon God’s name; make His deeds known; sing to Him; sing psalms; talk of His wondrous works; glory in His name; rejoice in Him; seek Him, His strength, and His face; and remember His works, wonders, and judgments.  The psalm concludes with a command to praise the Lord (45).  


Psalm 106:  Worship and give thanks to God because He is good and His mercy endures forever (1).  It is impossible to recall all of the mighty acts of the Lord and show forth all His praise (2).  Israel believed and worshipped God only after they saw His mighty acts (11-12).  We need  to believe and worship by faith before we see the manifestation of the promises of God.  Note that in verse 19 they made a golden calf and then in verse 28 they joined themselves to false gods.  If you worship the wrong way, you will soon be joining yourself to false gods. In verse 47 we are admonished to give thanks unto God’s holy name and triumph in His praise.   All the people are to echo “Amen” to the blessing and are to praise the Lord (48).     


Psalm 107: Give thanks to the Lord because He is good and His mercy endures forever (1).  Thank Him for redeeming you from the hands of the enemy (2).  Praise Him for His goodness and His wonderful works (8,15,21,32).  Praise Him because He satisfies your longing soul and fills your hungry soul with goodness (9),  and because He has broken the gates of brass and cut the bars of iron that held you captive spiritually (16). Acknowledge God publicly by sacrifices of thanksgiving (22), declaring His works with rejoicing (22), and exalting Him in the congregation and before the elders (32).  Worship Him because He guides (4-9); He delivers (10-16); He saves (17-22); He navigates the storms of life (23-32); He provides an oasis in the wilderness (33-38); and He raises  you up when  you are cast down (39-43).


This chapter indicates you are to praise God because He:

Verse 2:                       Redeems you from the hands of the enemy.

Verse 6:                       Delivers you from all your distresses.

Verse 7:                       Leads you in the right way.

Verse 9:                       Satisfies your longing soul.

Verse 9:                       Satisfies your spiritual hunger and thirst.

Verses 14-20:              Delivers you from bondage--sets you free.

Verse 20:                     Heals you: Mentally, spiritually, physically.

Verse 20:                     Delivers you from destruction.

Verses 23-24:              Helps you in the everyday affairs of life.

Verse 29:                     Calms the storms of your life.

Verse 30:                     Gives you peace.

Verse 30:                     Guides you to your destiny.

Verses 33-35:              Makes you productive spiritually.

Verse 36:                     Establishes you.

Verses 37-38:              Sets you in a supernatural cycle of sowing and reaping.

Verse 39-41:                Fights for you.

Verse 42:                     Makes your life a testimony. 


Psalm 108: Settle it in your heart that you will worship God (1).  Sing, give praise, worship with instruments and wake up early to do it (1-2)  Worship Him among the people and the nations for His mercy and His truth (3-4).  Exalt him above the heavens and the earth (5).  Praise God because through Him you will do valiantly, for He will tread down  your enemies (13).               


Psalm 109:  God is the God of your praise (1).  Praise Him vocally and among the multitudes (30).  Praise Him because He stands with the poor, to save them from those who condemn them (31).              


Psalm 110:  Worship Jesus as a mighty warrior who subdues your enemies (1-3) and as your High Priest (4-7).                               


Psalm 111:  Praise the Lord with your whole heart—put all that you have into it. Praise Him privately and corporately (1).  Praise Him for His works (2-3).  Praise Him for His righteousness, graciousness, and compassion (3-4).  Worship Him because of the fulfilled promise of redemption and His everlasting covenant (9).  Note that in this transient world, praise and worship endure forever (10).                               


Psalm 112:  Praise the Lord because you are blessed, happy, and to be envied (1).  Praise Him for the blessings itemized in verses 1-9.                   


Psalm 113:  This psalm begins and ends with an admonition to praise the Lord.  The entire psalm can be used in worship. There is an emphasis in verses 2-3 on praising the name of the Lord.  


Psalm 114: Verse 7 commands the earth to tremble—to stand in awe—at the presence of the Lord. That is the proper response to a manifestation of God’s presence in worship.               


Psalm 115:  Give glory to God’s name for His mercy and truth (1).  Praise the Lord while you are yet living (17).  Bless the Lord from this time forth and for evermore (18).                            


Psalm 116:  Express your love to God and thank Him for hearing your voice (1-2).  Worship Him because He is gracious, righteous, and merciful (5).  Thank Him for deliverance from death, sorrow, and falling (8). Offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call upon His name (3).  Praise the Lord publicly (19).      


Psalm 117:  In this short psalm, all nations and all people are admonished to praise the Lord for His great merciful kindness and truth (1-2).                 


Psalm 118:  Give thanks to the Lord because He is good and His mercy endures forever (1-3).  “Now” is the time to worship (4).  Worship God because He is your strength, your song, and your salvation (14).  Enter in the gates of righteousness to praise the Lord (19-20).  Praise God because He has heard your prayers and given you salvation.  This is the day which the Lord has made, so rejoice and be glad in it (24).  Make the declaration that God is your God and you will praise, exalt, and give thanks to Him (28-29).                    


Psalm 119:  Psalm 119 celebrates God’s Word.  It is written in acrostic form:  Each stanza starts with one of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, with eight verses for each letter, which totals 176 verses.


Use this entire psalm to praise God for His Word.  Worship Him because…


Aleph:             1-8:

His Word blesses.

Beth:               9-16

His Word cleanses.

Gimel:             17-24

His Word removes reproach.

Daleth:            25-32

His Word is truth.

He:                  33-40

His Word is established.

Waw:               41-48

His Word brings salvation.

Zayin:             49-56

His Word is a comfort.


Heth:               57-64

His Word reveals His mercy.

Teth:               65-72

His Word is valuable.

Yod:                73-80

His Word gives hope.

Kaph:              81-88

His Word quickens.

Lamedh:         89-96

His Word is forever settled.

Mem:              97-104

His Word gives wisdom.

Nun:               105-112

His Word is a light.

Samek:            113-120

His Word upholds.

Ayin:               121-128

His Word is reliable.

Pe:                   129-136

His Word provides direction.

Tsadde:           137-144

His Word is righteous.

Qoph:              145-152

His Word is eternal.

Resh:               153-160

His Word delivers.

Shin:               161-168

His Word brings peace.

Tau:                169-176

His Word is a delight.


Psalm 120:  Worship God because He hears you when you cry out in distress (1).            


Psalm 121:  Lift up your eyes to the Lord, who made heaven and earth. In order to worship, you must lift your eyes higher than your circumstances (1-2).                   


Psalm 122:  Be glad when it is time to go to the house of the Lord to worship (1).  Join other Believers in giving thanks to the name of the Lord (4).                


Psalm 123:  Lift your eyes above your problems to worship the Lord (1).  Thank Him for His provision and mercy (2).                   


Psalm 124: Worship God with this declaration:  “If it had not been the Lord who was on my side….”—and fill in the blanks.  Thank God for your escape from the traps of the enemy (7).                  

Psalm 125:  Worship God for the security of your position in Him.  You cannot be moved (1-2).                         

Psalm 126:  Laugh and rejoice as you worship (2).  Celebrate the great things God has done by delivering you from the captivity of the enemy (4) and restoring you (5-6).                                    


Psalm 127:  Worship God because He is building the “house” of your life, family, work, and ministry (1).  Thank Him for peace of mind and the rest He gives to you as His beloved (2).                  

Psalm 128:  Thank God because of the blessings He has bestowed upon you because you fear Him and walk in His ways.                           


Psalm 129:  Praise God because He has delivered you from afflictions (1-2) and freed you from the cords of the wicked (4).           


Psalm 130:  Whatever depths you are in right now, cry out to the Lord (1).  He will hear you.  Praise God for forgiveness of sin (3-4).  Wait on the Lord (5-6).  Hope in the Lord because of His mercy and redemption (7).           


Psalm 131:  As you worship, express your hope in the Lord as the psalmist did in verse 3.                                   

Psalm 132:  Go to the house of the Lord to worship (7). Worship at His footstool in your personal devotions (7).  Note the passion of the psalmist in his desire to create a place for the Ark, the symbol of God’s presence.  Create space for God’s presence as you worship.                             

Psalm 133:  God’s presence dwells where Believers are in unity (3).  United worship is like the precious anointing oil and the dew of heaven. Make plans to worship with other Believers regularly.                                  


Psalm 134: The call to all servants of the Lord is to bless Him in the house of the Lord and in the sanctuary (1-2).  Lift up your hands to worship the Creator (2-3).  As you bless Him, He blesses you in return (3).              


Psalm 135: This whole chapter is a one of worship, beginning and ending with the call to “Praise the Lord” (1 and 21).  Worship Him for who He is (1-5), because He is Lord of creation (6-7),  for what He has done in the past (8-12), and for what He will do in the future (13-14).  Acknowledge Him as greater than all other gods (15-18).  Everyone is mandated to bless the Lord:  Nations, leaders, priests, and the people (19-21).                    


Psalm 136:  This psalm focuses on the enduring mercy of God.  Worship Him as God of gods and Lord of lords (103).  Worship Him for the great wonders of creation (4-9).  Worship Him for His continued provision (23-26).  Verses 10-22 focus on what God did for Israel.  Worship Him for the same reasons:  He delivers you, saves you, leads you, battles on your behalf, and gives you an eternal heritage. The psalm closes as it opens with an appeal to give thanks to the Lord because His mercy endures forever.                     



Psalm 137:  Taken captive into Babylon, God’s people were sad and broken.  The enemy asked them to sing a song of Zion (Jerusalem).  They declined, asking “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?”  Actually, this is what they had been called to do:  Represent God to the nations.  You may live in difficult circumstances or in a “strange land”, but do not cease to worship.  Worship despite the difficulties, as Paul and Silas did in the Philippian jail.                            

Psalm 138: Praise the Lord with your whole heart, before the gods of this world, and with your eyes and heart focused on Him (1).   Praise His name for His lovingkindness and His truth (2). Thank Him that He answered and strengthened you when you called upon Him (3).  Note that someday, all the leaders of this earth will praise the Lord (4-5).  Worship God because He revives you in the midst of trouble (7); He subdues your enemies (7);  He will perfect all that concerns you; and because His mercy endures forever and He will not forsake you (8).                      


Psalm 139:  Read verses 1-6 in praise to the Lord.  Thank God for His omnipresence (7-12) and His omnipotence (13-22).  Review His powerful acts in your life (13-22) and praise Him for them (14).  As you close your time of worship, make the appeal in verses 23-24.          


Psalm 140:  Praise God because of His salvation and His protection over you in battle (7).  Because you are righteous through the blood of Jesus, you can give thanks in His name and dwell in His presence continuously (13).                           


Psalm 141:  Lift your hands to worship God as a sacrifice of praise (2).  Despite the circumstances around you, get your eyes on Him and keep your focus on worship.  Express your trust in Him (8).                                 


Psalm 142:  When your spirit is overwhelmed, do not look around for help (3-4).  Look up and worship instead, praising God that He is your refuge, your portion, and your deliverance  (5,7).  Praise Him for bringing your soul out of prison (7).              


Psalm 143:  Stretch your hands out to the Lord in worship (6).  Express your thirst for Him (6).  Worship Him because of His faithfulness and righteousness (1). Praise Him for what He has done in times past (5).  Thank Him for His deliverance (9), His guidance (10), His quickening (11), and His mercy (12).            


Psalm 144:  Bless the Lord for being your strength and your instructor for spiritual battle (1).  Sing a new song to the Lord, using an instrument (9).  Realize that true happiness comes to those who worship God as Lord (15).                               


Psalm 145:  Use this entire psalm to worship the Lord, as it praises His attributes. Worship is an act of the will that should be done every day (1-2).  Bless and praise His name (1-2).  Worship Him for His unsearchable greatness (3); His majesty and wondrous works (5); and His greatness, goodness, and righteousness (6-7).  Sing to Him (7).  Worship Him for His graciousness, compassion, patience, and mercy (8). Thank Him that He is good to all (9).  Join the saints in praising Him for the glory of His kingdom, His power, and His everlasting dominion (10-13).          


Praise Him for the hallmarks of His Kingdom that are listed in verses 11-20, and close with final praise to the Lord using verse 21.              


Psalm 146:  The admonition is to praise the Lord with all your soul and to continue to worship Him as long as you live.                 


Psalm 147:  It is good to sing praises to God because praise is pleasant and comely (1).  Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving and praise Him using an instrument (2).  The city of Jerusalem and the people of Zion are admonished to praise the Lord (12).                          


Psalm 148:  Heaven and all of its inhabitants are admonished to praise the Lord (1-4).  The reasons for praise in Heaven are given in verses 5-6.  The earth is admonished to praise the Lord (7-12) for the reasons listed in verses 13-14.              


Psalm 149:  Praise the Lord with a new song in the congregation of the saints.  Rejoice in Him who made you, be joyful in your King.  Praise His name in the dance and with instruments (1-3).  Praise Him because He takes pleasure in you and beautifies you with salvation (4) .  Praise Him joyfully, sing aloud upon your bed, praise Him with the high praises of God (5-6).  Praise Him with the two-edged sword of His Word (6-9).  The bottom line is:  Praise the Lord (9)!                   


Psalm 150:  This psalm tells you where, why, how, and who to worship.  The final command in psalms:  Praise the Lord!                                 




The book of Proverbs provides Godly wisdom for practical problems of everyday life.  King  Solomon, the son of King David, wrote most of the Proverbs.  It is recorded in 1 Kings 4:32 that Solomon  spoke three thousand Proverbs under the inspiration of God. Some of these are preserved for us by the Holy Spirit in the book of Proverbs.  (Two chapters in Proverbs are written by authors with another name:  Agur wrote chapter 30 and Lemuel wrote chapter 31.  Their exact identities are unknown.)


The purposes of this book are given in Proverbs 1:1-6 and 22:19-21.  The reason for writing these brief sayings or "Proverbs" is to condense wisdom to help us remember profound spiritual truths easily.


The purpose of Proverbs is also explained in the book of Ecclesiastes:


And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many Proverbs. The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth. The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.  (Ecclesiastes 12:9-11)




The value of the book of Proverbs in relation to worship is to provide godly wisdom that will enable you to worship in right relationship with both God and your fellow man.  Although Proverbs does not speak directly about worship and its elements, it is clear that a wise person is a worshipper of God who is the true source of wisdom.


In regards to worship guidelines in this book,  the most important is found in  Proverbs 1:7 which states:  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…”  Fear, as defined here, is not dread, but an attitude of awe and respect.   If you truly want to learn how to worship, the fear of the Lord is foundational to attaining that knowledge.


The book of Proverbs has more to say about the fear of the Lord than any other book in the Bible.  Proverbs 2 explains how to develop the fear of the Lord:


My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. (Proverbs 2:1-7)


Proverbs 8:13 explains that “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.”  To foster the fear of the Lord, the awe and respect that leads to true worship, you must hate what God hates.


Proverbs 9:10 states:  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”  When you learn about our Holy God, you will develop a healthy fear and respect that will enhance your worship.


You can worship God because, through the fear of the Lord, you have confidence, a place of refuge, and a fountain of life:


In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.

The fear of the Lord prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened. The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death

(Proverbs 14:26-27)


Proverbs 15:16 declares the value of this awe and respect for God:  “Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith.”


The fear of God also keeps you from evil (Proverbs 16:6); satisfies you (Proverbs 19:23); and results in riches, and honor, and life (Proverbs 22:4).


Proverbs 23:17-19 admonishes:  “Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long. For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off.

Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.”




The book of Ecclesiastes is a discussion of the futility of life apart from God (Ecclesiastes 1:13; 12:9–10) and a warning of accountability and impending judgment (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). The  key to understanding Ecclesiastes is found in understanding Solomon’s life, as the book reflects how he was affected by poor choices later in life. 


At least twenty-six times in the book of Ecclesiastes the phrase "under the sun" appears. This phrase refers to a life that does not have God as its focus, but lives for the thrills, experiences, accomplishments, and wealth of this world.


After exploring every aspect of life, work, pleasures,  and material wealth, Solomon declared:  “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes l2:l3).


The main point of this book in relation to worship is that God has placed eternity in your heart, and nothing else can satisfy other than a relationship with Him (Ecclesiastes 3:11).  In the end, Solomon concludes that God alone can satisfy and that He is worthy of your worship!


Ecclesiastes provides many things for which to praise and worship God:


Worship God because…


-He provides the pleasures of work, food, and sleep: 2:24-25;5:12.

-He gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please Him: 2:26; 5:20.

-He makes everything beautiful in time: 3:11.

-He judges you because He loves you: 3:24,17-18; 12:14.

-He provides companionship:  4:9-12.

-He blesses you with material wealth: 5:19.

-You can make wise choices if you apply wisdom:  Chapter 7.

-He refines you through both prosperous and hard times: 7:3,14.

-The wicked will be punished: 8:10-13.

-The righteous will be blessed:  9:1.

-Generosity will be rewarded: 11:1.

-Godly wisdom provides spiritual stability: 12:9-11.

-Righteous judgment will be executed: 12:13




The Song of Solomon is sometimes called “canticles” which is Latin for a “series of songs.”  The full name is “The Song of Songs which is Solomon’s.”  The title  “Song of Songs” means “the best song” of the many that are credited to King Solomon.  This book shows the relationship between Jesus and His people--Israel, the Church, and individual believers. Its purpose is to inspire meditation on, a passion for, and intimacy with our Bridegroom Jesus Christ.  That is worship!


The first commandment is to love God, and the Song of Songs restores that commandment to first place by confirming that being a lover of God is your primary occupation.  Jesus prayed that the fervent love with which God loved Him would also be in you (John 17:26).  He called the church at Ephesus, who were faithful in works, back to their first love (Revelation 2:4).  Note that this church had “left” their first love, they had not “lost” it.  If you have lost something you may not find it again, but if you leave it, you can return again.  Through the pages of the Song of Songs, you are called back to your first love to experience the presence of God and the passionate love He has for you. This book will renew your passion for worship.


The song is written in dialogue (conversational) format. The characters and the order in which they speak may vary in different commentaries and versions of the Bible, but the following outline is used in the Harvestime Legacy Bible Outlines. Each time the Bride speaks, that is a passage that you can personalize and use to praise and worship your Heavenly Bridegroom.  


            CHARACTER                                                 REFERENCE

            Introduction                                                                1:1      

            Bride (Shulamite)                                                        1:2-6

            Bride (Shulamite) to Bridegroom (Beloved)              1:7

            Bridegroom (Beloved)                                                1:8-10

            Daughters Of Jerusalem                                              1:11

            Bride (Shulamite)                                                        1:12-14

            Bridegroom (Beloved)                                                1:15

            Bride (Shulamite)                                                        1:16-17

            Bride (Shulamite)                                                        2:1

            Bridegroom (Beloved)                                                2:2

            Bride (Shulamite)                                                        2:3

            Bride (Shulamite) to Daughters of Jerusalem             2:4-7

            Bride (Shulamite)                                                        2:8-16

            Bride (Shulamite) to the Beloved                               2:17

            Bride  (Shulamite)                                                       3:1-11 

            Bridegroom (Beloved)                                                4:1-15

            Bride (Shulamite)                                                        4:16

            Bridegroom (Beloved)                                                5:1

            Bride (Shulamite)                                                        5:2-8

            Daughters of Jerusalem                                               5:9

            Bride (Shulamite)                                                        5:10-16

            Daughters of Jerusalem                                               6:1

            Bride (Shulamite)                                                        6:2-3

            Bridegroom (Beloved)                                                6:4-9

            Daughters of Jerusalem                                               6:10

            Bride (Shulamite)                                                        6:11-12

            Daughters of Jerusalem                                               6:13a

            Bride (Shulamite)                                                        6:13b

            Bridegroom (Beloved)                                                7:1-9

            Bride   (Shulamite)                                                      7:10-13

            Bride (Shulamite)                                                        8:1-2

            Bride (Shulamite) to Daughters of Jerusalem             8:3-4   

            Daughters of Jerusalem                                               8:5a to the word "Beloved"

            Bridegroom (Beloved)                                                8:5b from the word "I"

            Bride (Shulamite)                                                        8:6-7

            Bride's Brothers                                                          8:8-9

            Bride (Shulamite)                                                        8:10-12

            Bridegroom                                                                 8:13

            Bride (Beloved)                                                          8:14


For further study of this book in regards to worship, see the Legacy Bible Outline on the book of Solomon available free at  

































1.         Write the key verse.






2.         According to the Psalms, when and where did worship occur?








3.         Summarize how people worshipped according to the psalms.










4.         Summarize worship principles in the book of Proverbs.




















5.         Summarize worship principles in the book of Ecclesiastes.












6.         Summarize worship principles in the Song Of Solomon.












7.         How will you apply what you learned about worship in this chapter?








            Spend some time in worship when you complete this lesson.




(Answers to Self-Tests are found at the conclusion of this manual.)












1.         Use the following plan to read through the book of Psalms and study further on worship.


__ Day 1‑Psalms 1,2               __ Day 29‑Psalms 57,58         __ Day 57‑Psalms 113,114 

__ Day 2‑Psalms 3,4               __ Day 30‑Psalms 59,60         __ Day 58‑Psalms 115,116

__ Day 3‑Psalms 5,6               __ Day 31‑Psalms 61,62         __ Day 59‑Psalms 117,118

__ Day 4‑Psalms 7,8               __ Day 32‑Psalms 63,64         __ Day 60‑Psalm   119:1‑16

__ Day 5‑Psalms 9,10             __ Day 33‑Psalms 65,66         __ Day 61‑Psalm   119:17‑32

__ Day 6‑Psalms 11,12           __ Day 34‑Psalms 67,68         __ Day 62‑Psalm   119:33‑48

__ Day 7‑Psalms 13,14           __ Day 35‑Psalms 69,70         __ Day 63‑Psalm   119:49‑64

__ Day 8‑Psalms 15,16           __ Day 36‑Psalms 71,72         __ Day 64‑Psalm   119:65‑80

__ Day 9‑Psalms 17,18           __ Day 37‑Psalms 73,74         __ Day 65‑Psalm   119:81‑96

__ Day 10‑Psalms 19,20         __ Day 38‑Psalms 75,76         __ Day 66‑Psalm   119:97‑112

__ Day 11‑Psalms 21,22         __ Day 39‑Psalms 77,78         __ Day 67‑Psalm   119:113‑128

__ Day 12‑Psalms 23,24         __ Day 40‑Psalms 79,80         __ Day 68‑Psalm   119:129‑144

__ Day 13‑Psalms 25,26         __ Day 41‑Psalms 81,82         __ Day 69‑Psalm   119:145‑160

__ Day 14‑Psalms 27,28         __ Day 42‑Psalms 83,84         __ Day 70‑Psalm   119:161‑176

__ Day 15‑Psalms 29,30         __ Day 43‑Psalms 85,86         __ Day 71‑Psalms  120,121

__ Day 16‑Psalms 31,32         __ Day 44‑Psalms 87,88         __ Day 72‑Psalms  122,123

__ Day 17‑Psalms 33,34         __ Day 45‑Psalms 89,90         __ Day 73‑Psalms  124,125

__ Day 18‑Psalms 35,36         __ Day 46‑Psalms 91,92         __ Day 74‑Psalms  126‑128

__ Day 19‑Psalms 37,38         __ Day 47‑Psalms 93,94         __ Day 75‑Psalms  129,130

__ Day 20‑Psalms 39,40         __ Day 48‑Psalms 95,96         __ Day 76‑Psalms  131,132

__ Day 21‑Psalms 41,42         __ Day 49‑Psalms 97,98         __ Day 77‑Psalms  133,134

__ Day 22‑Psalms 43,44         __ Day 50‑Psalms 99,100       __ Day 78‑Psalms  135,136

__ Day 23‑Psalms 45,46         __ Day 51‑Psalms 101,102     __ Day 79‑Psalms  137,138

__ Day 24‑Psalms 47,48         __ Day 52‑Psalms 103,104     __ Day 80‑Psalms  139,140

__ Day 25‑Psalms 49,50         __ Day 53‑Psalms 105,106     __ Day 81‑Psalms  141,142

__ Day 26‑Psalms 51,52         __ Day 54‑Psalms 107,108     __ Day 82‑Psalms  143,144

__ Day 27‑Psalms 53,54         __ Day 55‑Psalms 109,110     __ Day 83‑Psalms  145,146

__ Day 28‑Psalms 55,56         __ Day 56‑Psalms 111,112     __ Day 84‑Psalms  147,148

                                                                                                __ Day 85‑Psalms  149,150


2.         Turn to Appendix Two and study the use of “worship” and “worshipped” in the book of   Psalms.  (There are no direct references to these words in Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and          Song of Solomon.)

















Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to summarize worship principles in the prophetic books of:









            Be it known unto thee, O King, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden      image which thou hast set up.  (Daniel 3:18)




This chapter is the one of six describing worship in the Old Testament.  This chapter details worship during the prophetic era of Israel’s history, focusing on the books of the Major Prophets. 


The terms “major and minor” are not used in the Bible, but are simply a way to divide the Old Testament prophetic books by categories. The Major Prophets are described as “major” because their books are longer and the content has broad and even global implications. The Minor Prophets are described as “minor” because their books are shorter and the content is more narrowly focused. This does not mean the Minor Prophets are any less inspired than the Major Prophets.


The Major Prophetical books are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. The Minor Prophets are Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.

One of the biggest issues regarding worship during the times of all of the prophets was the continuing sin of idolatry.  This problem was addressed repeatedly in the prophetic books.  Study the following passages:




-Isaiah:            2:8,18,20; 10:10,11; 19:1,3; 31:7; 45:16; 46:1,6; 57:5.

-Jeremiah:       50:2,38.

-Ezekiel:          6:4-6,9,13; 8:10; 14:3-7; 16:36; 18:6,12,15; 20:7,8,16,18,24,31,39;

                        22:3-4,7,30,37,39,49; 30:13; 33:25; 36:18, 25; 37:23; 44:10,12.

-Hosea:            4:17; 8:4; 13:2; 14:8.

-Micah:           1:7.

-Habakkuk:     2:18.

-Zechariah:      10:2; 13:2.


In addition to addressing the issue of idolatry, both the Major and Minor Prophets contribute to our understanding of and participation in worship.




Isaiah warns of coming judgment against Judah because of their sins against God.


Here are some key principles concerning worship in the book of Isaiah.


-Worship opens your eyes spiritually.  Worship results in spiritual vision and an understanding of your divine destiny.  The Prophet Isaiah recounts:  


In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.  (Isaiah 6:1-7)


This worship encounter with God resulted in Isaiah’s call to serve as a prophet.  Worship changes you, in that it calls for a response. 


-You should praise God for salvation.


And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.  (Isaiah 12:1-6)


-You should praise God for His faithfulness in the past and His promises for the future.  In

Isaiah chapters 25-26, praise is lifted to the Lord for what He did for Israel in the past and His promises for the future.


            O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done        wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.  (Isaiah 25:1)


-We should worship God corporately for restoration.  In the day that God restored Judah, they sang the song recorded in Isaiah 26.


-God draws His people to worship.


And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem.  (Isaiah 27:13)


-God is the pride, joy, and crowning glory of His people as they worship.


In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people. (Isaiah 28:5)


-You should not worship God with your lips while your heart remains far away.


Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.  (Isaiah 29:13-14)


Real worship changes everything you do, because it changes who you are. Worship must be  sincere and heartfelt, not just ritualistic and ceremonial.


-You cannot worship at any altar other than God’s.


But if thou say to me, We trust in the Lord our God: is it not he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, and said to Judah and to Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar?  (Isaiah 36:7)


-You should worship in times of crisis.  When Hezekiah was facing a formidable army, he worshipped God and requested His help.


            O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God,      even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.   Incline thine ear, O Lord, and hear; open thine eyes, O Lord, and see: and hear all the      words of Sennacherib, which hath sent to reproach the living God. (Isaiah 37:16-17)


-You should praise God for healing.  When Hezekiah recovered from a life-threatening sickness, he wrote a beautiful poem of praise about his experience which is recorded in Isaiah 38:9-20.


-There is a time to keep silent before the Lord.


             Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them         come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment.  (Isaiah 41:1)


-You are to sing new songs to the Lord.  Read Isaiah’s new song in Isaiah 42:10-17


-You are commanded to give glory to God alone.


            I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my           praise to graven images.  (Isaiah 42:8)


-Worship should focus on the faithfulness of God.


Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.  (Isaiah 49:7)


-You should praise God for His comfort and redemption.


            Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath           comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.  (Isaiah 52:9-10)


-God distinguishes between true and false worship.  Study Isaiah chapter 58.


-All creation is to join in worship.


            For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills        shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their   hands. (Isaiah 55:12)


-Eventually, all people will worship the true God.


            And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to    another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.  (Isaiah 66:23)




Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. The Lord God which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.  (Isaiah 56:7-8)


-God wants the glory of worship to be reflected in your life.


Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. (Isaiah 60:1-2)


-The new Jerusalem will have walls of salvation and gates of praise.

Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.  (Isaiah 60:18)


-Worship God for His provision of salvation.


I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. (Isaiah 61:10-11)


-Worship God because of His lovingkindness.

I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the Lord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses. (Isaiah 63:7)




The book of Jeremiah was written during the decline and fall of Judah.  It tells of coming judgment and urges the people to surrender to Nebuchadnezzar.


Here are some key principles concerning worship in the book of Jeremiah.


-Without worship, you are like a broken cistern without water.


For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

(Jeremiah 2:13)


-God delivers you from bondage so that you can worship Him. God brought His people out of Egypt to worship Him, but repeatedly they declined to do so:


For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them: Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers. (Jeremiah 7:22-26)


-Your lifestyle should be a reflection of your worship.


Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the Lord.

Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these.  For if ye thoroughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor; If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.  (Jeremiah 7:2-7)


-Worship is worth more than worldly wisdom, might, and riches.


Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.  (Jeremiah 9:23-24)


-Worship should be done in humility.  Here is a good prayer to pray when you enter God’s presence:


O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing. (Jeremiah 10:23-24)






-You must learn to worship in good times so you will be able to worship in difficult times.


 If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?  (Jeremiah 12:5)


-All idols will eventually be cast down.


Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces. (Jeremiah 50:2)


-The Word brings forth a joyful response of worship.


Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.

 (Jeremiah 15:16)


-You should worship God for deliverance from evildoers.


Sing unto the Lord, praise ye the Lord: for he hath delivered the soul of the poor from the hand of evildoers. (Jeremiah 20:13)


-Worshipping other gods provokes the Lord to anger.


And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt.  (Jeremiah 25:6)


-God abandons places of worship where people continue in sin.


Thus saith the Lord; Stand in the court of the Lord's house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord's house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word: If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings. And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord; If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you, To hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened; Then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth. (Jeremiah 26:2-6)


-Worship eliminates sorrow.


Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all. (Jeremiah 31:12)


-You should worship God because He is your creator, He is just, great in counsel, and mighty in works.


Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the Lord of hosts, is his name, Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings: (Jeremiah 32:17-19)


-When you are cleansed from sin, joyful worship results.


And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.  And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it. Thus saith the Lord; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate without man and without beast, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast, The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the Lord. (Jeremiah 33:8-11)


-Idolatry has consequences.


And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands. (Jeremiah 1:16)


Then shalt thou say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith the Lord, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law; And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me:  Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favour.  (Jeremiah 16:11-13)


And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbour, Wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this great city? Then they shall answer, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them. (Jeremiah 22:8-9)


This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.  (Jeremiah 13:10; see also Jeremiah 44:15-28)


Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Ye have seen all the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, and upon all the cities of Judah; and, behold, this day they are a desolation, and no man dwelleth therein, Because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke me to anger, in that they went to burn incense, and to serve other gods, whom they knew not, neither they, ye, nor your fathers. (Jeremiah 44:2-3-5)


-God is willing to forgive when people turn away from idolatry.  Despite their repeated offenses, Israel was given this assurance:


For Israel hath not been forsaken, nor Judah of his God, of the Lord of hosts; though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel. (Jeremiah 51:5)


Because of God’s forgiveness, the prophet lifts praise and worship to Him in verses 15-19.




Lamentations is a continuation of the message of the Prophet Jeremiah.  It is his expression of deep sorrow over God’s impending judgment.


Here are some key principles concerning worship in the book of Lamentations.


-You should praise God for His mercy, compassion, faithfulness, hope, and goodness.


This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentations 3:21-26)


-When worship ceases, so does joy and spiritual vision.


The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning. The crown is fallen from our head: woe unto us, that we have sinned! For this our heart is faint; for these things our eyes are dim. (Lamentations 5:15-17)










The book of Ezekiel warns first of Jerusalem's impending fall and then foretells its future restoration.  The book also emphasizes how God orders events so that people can come to know and worship Him as evidenced by the repeated use of the phrase “that you may know that I am God.”


Here are some key principles concerning worship in the book of Ezekiel.


-The revelation of God’s glory results in worship.


As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake..  (Ezekiel 1:28)


-True worshippers must communicate the truth to others whether they listen or not.


Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears. And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord God; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.  (Ezekiel 3:10-11)


-All altars of idolatry will eventually be brought down.


And your altars shall be desolate, and your images shall be broken: and I will cast down your slain men before your idols. And I will lay the dead carcases of the children of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones round about your altars. In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished.

(Ezekiel 6:4-6)


-Idolatry can occur in the house of the Lord.


And he brought me into the inner court of the Lord's house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.  (Ezekiel 8:16)


In churches today, some congregations worship statues or symbols. Others worship charismatic personalities.  In some cases, church traditions have become idols.





-Chronic sin causes God’s glory to depart from the temple.


He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations.

 (Ezekiel 8:6.  See also Ezekiel 10:1-22


-God requires complete devotion.


And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence. And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. (Ezekiel 11:18-20)


-God longs to restore true worship.  A powerful message of restoration begins in Ezekiel chapter 39 and reaches a climax in chapter  43 when true worship is restored. 


-The Lord desires to dwell with His people.  As we found in the study of worship from the time of Eden through the Old Testament Tabernacle and Temple, God wants to dwell with His people.  In Ezekiel 48:35, the new city of Jerusalem is described as a place where His people will dwell with Him eternally.  The city is called “The Lord is there.” 


-God will not accept your worship if you pledge allegiance to other things as well.


As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols. For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord God, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the first fruits of your oblations, with all your holy things. (Ezekiel 20:39-40)


-Worship must be done God’s way.  Specific instructions were given as to how priests should prepare offerings and where they should worship (Ezekiel 46:2-3).  The Bible gives Believers specific instructions to access God’s presence through Jesus Christ.


-God wants to fill His house with His glory.


And the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house. (Ezekiel 43:4-5)


Then brought he me the way of the north gate before the house: and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord: and I fell upon my face.

(Ezekiel 44:4)


-Worship in the flesh is unacceptable.  Instructions were given to the priests to wear linen garments instead of clothes that would cause them to sweat, as sweat speaks of self-effort:


And it shall come to pass, that when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them, whiles they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within. They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with anything that causeth sweat. (Ezekiel 44:17-18)


You no longer must dress this way to worship, but the point remains valid: Your worship should not be by self-effort.  It should flow from the power of the Holy Spirit within you, bubbling up from your innermost spirit.


-Worship should change you. God said:


But when the people of the land shall come before the Lord in the solemn feasts, he that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate: he shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in, but shall go forth over against it.  (Ezekiel 46:9)


Leaving by a different gate than the one by which you entered is symbolic of the fact that worship should change you.  You should not leave the same way you came.




The book of Daniel provides historic records and prophetic teaching that is important in understanding future events.


Here are some key principles concerning worship in the book of Daniel.


-True worship recognizes the sovereignty of God over the affairs of nations and people.


Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding. (Daniel 2:20-21)


-Wisdom comes through worship.  In an atmosphere of worship, God  revealed the meaning of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.  Daniel said:


He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the king's matter. (Daniel 2:22-23)


-We must continue to worship in difficult times. Daniel chapter 3 tells of an idol set up by King Nebuchadnezzar which he demanded that the people fall down and worship.  Three young men stood firm in their faith and refused to comply:


Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.  (Daniel 3:16-18)


The king was furious at their response and had the three young men thrown into a fiery furnace.  Suddenly, the king saw four men in the fire, the fourth one being likened unto the Son of God.  He called for the three men to be brought out of the fire and they emerged completely unharmed with not even the smell of smoke on them.


Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.  (Daniel 3:28-29)


-God sometimes uses judgment to draw people to worship HimNebuchadnezzar was an idolatrous king who refused to worship the true God.  Despite warnings from the Lord, he persevered in his evil ways until the Lord sent judgment on him.  His story is recorded in Daniel chapter 4.  In his own words, he tells what happened after an extended period of judgment…


And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.  (Daniel 4:34-37)


-You must not compromise your worship.  Daniel  prayed and worshipped God regularly, even after an ordinance was passed forbidding worship of anyone other than the king.


Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

 (Daniel 6:10)


When charges were brought against Daniel for worshipping God, he was punished by being cast into a den of lions.  God supernaturally preserved him and when the king witnessed this miracle he issued a different edict:


Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.   (Daniel 6:25-27)


Your faithfulness in worship may affect rulers and entire nations.  Do not compromise!


-Worship is continuous in the throne room of God.  In a vision,  Daniel witnessed worship in the Throne Room of God:


I behold till thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days sat: His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like clean wool: His throne like flames of fire: the wheels of it like a burning fire. A swift stream of fire issued forth from before Him: thousands of thousands ministered to Him, and ten thousand times a hundred thousand stood before Him: the judgment sat and the books were opened. (Daniel 7:9-10)























1.         Write the key verse.







2.         Summarize worship principles in the book of Isaiah.















3.         Summarize worship principles in the book of Jeremiah.















4.         Summarize worship principles in the book of Lamentations.






5.         Summarize worship principles in the book of Ezekiel.















6.         Summarize worship principles in the book of Daniel.













7.         How will you apply what you learned about worship in this chapter?









            Spend some time in worship when you complete this lesson.



(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)








Turn to Appendix Two and study references to “worship” and “worshipped” in the major prophets.

















































Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to summarize worship principles in the prophetic books of:
















When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple…But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.  (Jonah 2:7 and 9)




This chapter is the final one of six describing worship in the Old Testament.  This chapter details worship during the prophetic era of Israel’s history as recorded in the books of the Minor Prophets. 




Hosea’s life was a living parable.  The love and faithfulness with which he pursued his adulterous wife is an example of how God pursues His errant people to return to a loving relationship with Him.




Here are some key principles concerning worship in the book of Hosea.


-Idolatry in worship is compared to unfaithfulness in marriage.


The beginning of the word of the Lord by Hosea. And the Lord said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord. (Hosea 1:2)


-Those who lead worship should set a good spiritual example. God condemned the priests and kings for being spiritual snares and condoning idolatry:


Hear ye this, O priests; and hearken, ye house of Israel; and give ye ear, O house of the king; for judgment is toward you, because ye have been a snare on Mizpah, and a net spread upon Tabor.  (Hosea 5)


-Things that hinder worship must be eliminated.  Four things that hinder worship are revealed in Hosea chapter 7.  God’s people are compared to:


-A smoldering oven: Verse 6. The fires of jealousy, bitterness, anger, etc., appear to be out in the oven, but they smolder and flare up given the opportunity. Such attitudes and actions hinder worship.


-A half-baked cake: Verse 8. They were well done spiritually in some areas, but raw in other areas.  For example, they might pay tithes but are cheating others financially. They claimed to serve God, but were not separate from the world. 


-A silly dove: Verse 11.  Like a silly bird with no direction, God's people go here and there for help, guidance, and satisfaction instead of worshipping Him.


-A deceitful bow: Verse 16.  The people were unreliable, like a bent bow which no longer fulfills its purpose.  Their main purpose and ours:  Worship.


-Idolatry will cut you off from God.


            They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off. (Hosea 8:4)


-Idolatry is perpetuated by repeated sin.


And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, and idols according to their own understanding, all of it the work of the craftsmen: they say of them, Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves.  (Hosea 13:2)


-Repentance must precede worship.  When God called Israel to return to worship, He admonished:


O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.  (Hosea 14:1-2)


When one comes before the Lord with words of repentance they will be graciously received and will be able to “render the calves of their lips” in worship.  Calves of cattle were associated with sacrifice, so God is pleading for His people to return with repentance and sacrificial worship.




The book of Joel recounts the plagues which foreshadowed future judgment.


Here are some key principles concerning worship in the book of Joel.


-God calls His people individually and corporately to repent and return to worship.


The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men. Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God. Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord.  (Joel 1:12-14)


Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.  (Joel 2:12-13)


-Times of blessing should elicit praise to God.


 Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things. Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.  (Joel 2:21-24)


-Restoration follows repentance and a return to true worship.


And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.  (Joel 2:25-26)




During a period of material prosperity but moral decay, the Prophet Amos warned Israel and surrounding nations of God's future judgment on their sin.


Here are key principles concerning worship in the book of Amos.


-Worship is just noise unless it is offered in righteousness.


Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.

But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves. (Amos 5:23-26)


-What you have done in the past may not get you to where you need to be in the future.  In former years, God had directed the people of Israel to Bethel to worship.  Here, He tells them not to go to Bethel: 


But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beer-sheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought.  (Amos 5:5)




Obadiah prophesied concerning God's judgment against the nation of Edom.


Here are some key principles concerning worship in the book of Obadiah.


-You cannot please God with your worship while harboring pride in your heart.  God’s message to Edom was:


The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.  (Obadiah 1:3-4)


-You cannot worship properly when you are unreconciled to a fellow Believer. The Edomites were descendants of Esau, the twin brother of Jacob.  They were closely related to the Israelites, yet did nothing to help them in their conflict with the enemy:


But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress.

(Obadiah 1:12)


Because they were estranged from their brothers, their worship was unacceptable.  God forgives you as you forgive others (Matthew 6:12), so if you are unforgiving of others your relationship with Him is affected and your worship is hindered.




This book  is the story of the prophet Jonah who preached repentance in Nineveh, capitol of the Assyrian empire. The book reveals God's love and plan of repentance for the Gentiles.


Here are some key principles concerning worship in the book of Jonah.


-Worship is essential to restoration.  After rebelling against God and refusing to go preach in the city of Nineveh, the prophet Jonah was disciplined by the Lord in the belly of a great fish.  As part of his repentance and restoration, Jonah worshipped:


When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple…But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.  (Jonah 2:7 and 9)


To be restored after failure, one should offer God sacrifices of praise and fulfill their promises to Him.


-Those who worship false gods turn their backs on God’s mercies.


They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. (Jonah 2:8)




The Prophet Micah spoke out against Israel's sin and prophesied the birthplace of Jesus 700 years before the event happened.


Here are some key principles concerning worship in the book of Micah.


-All idols will eventually be destroyed.


            And all the graven images thereof shall be beaten to pieces, and all the hires thereof shall            be burned with the fire, and all the idols thereof will I lay desolate…(Micah 1:7)


-True worship will be reestablished in the end-times.


But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Micah 4:1-2)

-A lifestyle of worship is important to God.


Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?  (Micah 6:6-8)


-There will come a day when idols will be eliminated.


Thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands.  (Micah 5:13)




Nahum tells of the impending destruction of Nineveh which had been spared from judgment some 150 years earlier through Jonah's preaching.


Here is a key principle concerning worship in the book of Nahum.


-Worship should include celebration of deliverance and the hope God has given.


Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off. (Nahum 1:15)




Habakkuk reveals God's plan to judge and punish Judah for their sins.


Here are some key principles concerning worship in the book of Habakkuk.


-Even in the midst of difficult circumstances, God’s glory will be revealed.


For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.  (Habakkuk  2:14)


-Idolatry is a futile pursuit.


What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?

Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.

But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.

(Habakkuk 2:18-20)

-Silence before the Lord is an important element of worship.


            But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.

            (Habakkuk 2:20)


-Worship may not change the circumstances, but it changes you. The book of Habakkuk opens with a lament regarding the evil conditions of the time (Habakkuk 1:1:4).  It concludes with  powerful praise to God:


Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3:17-18)


Habakkuk was concerned about the evil circumstances in which he was living until he turned his focus to worship.  Nothing had changed.  The injustices and evil were still rampant, but Habakkuk had changed.




The Prophet Zephaniah delivered a message to God’s people who did not lack knowledge, but who lacked obedience to the knowledge God had given them. 


Here are some key principles concerning worship in the book of Zephaniah.


-Mixed worship is unacceptable.  Judgment came upon those who were worshipping the host of heaven and swearing by false gods at the same time that they were worshipping the Lord:   


I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests; And them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship and that swear by the Lord, and that swear by Malcham; And them that are turned back from the Lord; and those that have not sought the Lord, nor inquired for him.  (Zephaniah 1:4-6)


The Lord demands devotion to Him alone.


-Accepting God’s correction enables you to return to worship with singing, gladness, and rejoicing.


Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. The Lord hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the Lord, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. (Zephaniah 3;14-15)



-The Lord is present when you worship and He rejoices over you.


The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)


-Eventually, the whole earth will worship the one true God.


The Lord will be terrible unto them: for he will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen. 

(Zephaniah 2:11)




The final three prophetic books are addressed to the remnant of Jews who returned to Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity.  They had started restoration on the Temple, but due to immense challenges and opposition  the work had ceased.  Haggai’s appeal was for the people to put first things first and  complete the Temple of worship.


Here are some key principles concerning worship in the book of Haggai.


-Worship should be your first priority. The prophet Haggai declared that it was time for the Lord’s house to be rebuilt:


Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the Lord's house should be built. Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.  (Haggai 1:2-5)


-There are consequences for wrong priorities. The people were not being blessed because the Lord’s house was not their priority:


Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. (Haggai 1:6-7)


-Obedience is the starting point for true worship.  The people accepted the Word of the Lord regarding their negligence in finishing the temple and…


Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the Lord their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the Lord. Then spake Haggai the Lord's messenger in the Lord's message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the Lord. (Haggai 1:12-13)



-God desires to fill the place of worship with His glory. 


For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. (Haggai 2:6-7)


-If you will renew your commitment to worship, your “latter house” will be greater than the former.  Your spiritual life will be glorious!


The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts. (Haggai 2:9)


-Sin defiles the offerings you bring in worship.


If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No. Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean. Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the Lord; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean.

(Haggai 2:12-14)


-You must make worship a priority.  From the moment the people made the place of worship their priority, God began to bless them.


Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the Lord's temple was laid, consider it.

Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you.

(Haggai 2:18-19)




The book of Zechariah contains further urging to complete the temple and calls the people to renewed spiritual commitment.  It also foretells Christ's first and second comings.


Here are some key principles concerning worship in the book of Zechariah.


-Worship can be expressed in a variety of ways.  Singing, rejoicing, and silence are all part of worship:


Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee. And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again. Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation. (Zechariah 2:10-13)


-Worship should please God rather than yourself.  The inhabitants of Jerusalem should have listened to the prophet regarding their lifestyle and their departure from worship:


And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves? Should ye not hear the words which the Lord hath cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and the cities thereof round about her, when men inhabited the south and the plain? (Zechariah 7:6-7)


-Those who embrace idolatry are like sheep without a shepherd.


For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd.  (Zechariah 10:2)


-Idolatry will eventually be cut off.


And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.  (Zechariah 13:2)


-Refusing to worship God has consequences.


And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.  (Zechariah 14:16-17)




The Prophet Malachi warns against spiritual shallowness and foretells the births of John the Baptist and Jesus.


Here are some key principles concerning worship in the book of Malachi.


-God is not pleased with half-hearted worship.  At one point in their history, the people of God considered worship a weariness and were offering polluted offerings to God.


Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the Lord.  (Malachi 1:13)



-God’s name is to be praised from the rising to the going down of the sun.


For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts.

(Malachi 1:11)


-Refusing to worship results in a curse.


If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. (Malachi 2:2)


-Those who lead others in worship should exemplify a godly lifestyle.  God had specific requirements for the Levites who led God’s people in worship.


And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the Lord of hosts. My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 2:5-7)



























1.         Write the key verses.







2.         Summarize worship principles in the book of Hosea.







3.         Summarize worship principles in the book of Joel.







4.         Summarize worship principles in the book of Amos.







5.         Summarize worship principles in the book of Obadiah.







6.         Summarize worship principles in the book of Jonah.









7.         Summarize worship principles in the book of Micah.







8.         Summarize worship principles in the book of Nahum.







9.         Summarize worship principles in the book of Habakkuk.







10.       Summarize worship principles in the book of Zephaniah.







11.       Summarize worship principles in the book of Haggai.







12.       Summarize worship principles in the book of Zechariah.











13.       Summarize worship principles in the book of Malachi.







14.       How will you apply what you learned about worship in this chapter?









            Spend some time in worship when you complete this lesson.



(Answers to Self- Tests are provided at the conclusion of this manual.)






Turn to Appendix Two and study references to “worship” and “worshipped” in the minor prophets.



























Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:


            -Summarize worship principles in the New Testament temple.

            -Summarize worship in the New Testament synagogue.

            -Discuss worship principles taught by Jesus.

            -Summarize worship principles demonstrated in the early church.

            -Apply New Testament principles to your own worship experience.




            But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

            (Matthew 15:9)




This is one of two chapters that survey worship in the New Testament.  This chapter details worship in the temple, the synagogue, worship principles of Jesus, and worship in the early church.  The next chapter deals with worship in the book of Revelation.




From halfway through Exodus to the conclusion of the book of Deuteronomy, God details the construction and operation of the temple.  The instructions include specific directives for approaching God,  offering sacrifices, and worship.  In New Testament times, the temple operated on the basis of these directives. Worship in the New Testament era begins within the framework of the Jewish faith.


At the time of Christ’s ministry, the temple was called “Herod’s Temple” because  King Herod helped rebuild the Temple when he reconstructed Jerusalem. The priests and the Levites served to oversee the temple, just as they did in Old Testament times.  Among other groups that circulated around the Temple in New Testament times, were the Sadducees who were descendants of people who came back from the Babylonian exile. They were active in the religious and political life of the Jews and dominated the Sanhedrin, the city council of Jerusalem.  The Pharisees were another group who joined the religious and political ranks of Jerusalem life.


One of the main ways to differentiate the Sadducees from the Pharisees, is on the basis of their religious beliefs and practices. The Sadducees were conservative. They read only the Torah--the five books of Moses--and considered them as authoritative. For example, they did not believe in resurrection of the dead because it's not in the Torah. The Pharisees were the religious liberals of that day.  They wanted to reinterpret the Old Testament Scriptures and entertain new beliefs and rituals.


The Jews worshipped regularly at the Temple.  The Torah was read on a weekly basis, usually on the Sabbath.  Teaching and prayers occurred, as did sacrifices that were mandated in the Torah. The great holy days and feasts were celebrated in the Jerusalem Temple, with people coming from all over the empire for Passover.




The word “synagogue” means a congregation of people or a place of meeting, although the Hebrew term can be used to describe gatherings of both a religious and secular nature.  The oldest dated evidence of a synagogue is from the 3rd century BC, but  some scholars think that the destruction of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem in 586 BC gave rise to synagogues.  The loss of the Temple weighed heavily on the Jews, especially on the Sabbath and festival days.   From this deep sense of loss, the synagogues likely emerged and became--not a replacement--but a substitute for the Temple.  By New Testament times, every town had a synagogue and large cities like Jerusalem had several.


The synagogue was the local seat of religious and civil power for the Jews.  It was the center of worship, education, prayer, and civil government, and was their community meeting place. It was the center of Jewish life, both social and religious.


Ten men were needed to form a synagogue and if they had no actual building, the synagogue could meet in a home or in the open air.  The leader of the synagogue was a “dispenser of the alms”, the equivalent to a treasurer or accountant, and was qualified to interpret the Law and the prophets so that the congregation could understand. Only those who were qualified could lead the services.


The worship service in the synagogue was conducted in five parts. First the Shema was read, covering Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 11:13-21, and Numbers 15:37-41. Certain  prayers followed this and next was the reading of the Law and the Prophets.  These were expounded upon in Aramaic or Greek depending on the local language. A benediction concluded the service.  There were some modifications on the pattern depending on the seasons, but the basics of reading the Word, prayer, and instruction remained.  Tithes and offerings were also collected.



The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John provide insights into the worship principles taught and practiced by Jesus.


Jesus grew up in Galilee and although He went to Jerusalem for annual festivals, most of His worship experiences were in the local synagogue. The Gospels reveal that He not only attended synagogue and temple services, He also read and explained the Scriptures during the services (Luke 4:16; John 7:140; Mark 1:21-28; 3:1-6; 6:2).  Jesus would have also been involved in some rituals, such as killing the Passover lamb every year, although this is not specifically mentioned.  He prayed, in private and in public, and He sang worship songs (Hebrews 2:12). 


During His ministry, Jesus redefined worship.  The  most direct teaching by Jesus about worship is in John 4. The encounter was set in the context of the centuries-old Jewish-Samaritan squabble about the correct place of worship.   The woman to whom He was speaking said, "Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem." Jesus replied, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem" (John 4:20-21). In other words, location will not be important. Worship will not be associated with any particular spot.


Jesus clarified:  "You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth" (John 4:22-24).  In speaking of "spirit and truth," Jesus declared that worship must be sincere. External things don’t matter if your heart is not right.  You may worship at the right place with correct rituals, but if your heart is not right it isn’t worship. (For a detailed discussion of worshipping in spirit and truth see Chapter Five.)


Jesus declared that the Father seeks true worshippers:


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)


Jesus declared that only the Lord God is to be worshipped:


And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Luke 4:5-8)


Jesus criticized the worship of the Pharisees, quoting Isaiah 29:13 which declares, "These people worship me in vain; they honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me" (Matthew 15:8).  Their worship was in vain because of their spiritual condition, so He called them to repentance (Matthew 3:7-8).  He warned His followers concerning their conduct and their teachings which were contrary to God’s Word (Matthew 23:2-8; Mark 8:15; Luke 11:39-44; 12:1).  He called them hypocrites (Luke 11:44).


Jesus worshipped at the Temple at appointed festivals and holy days (John 2:13;7:2; 10:22), but He eventually changed everything.  He declared the temple to be “My Father’s House” (Luke 2:49).    He cleansed it and mandated that it return to its original purpose (Mark 11:17).  Jesus chased the moneychangers out of the temple because it was His Father’s House and it was to be a place of prayer (Matthew 21:12-14).  Then He brought the needy into the temple and ministered to them.   Jesus also predicted the destruction of the Temple (John 2:19).  While Christ valued the Temple, He came  to establish a new covenant.  The sacrifice of His life ended animal sacrifices, and He opened the way so that all who Believe can have access to God’s presence.


A powerful example of worship during the ministry of Jesus is that of Mary of Bethany whose story is recorded in John 12:1-8 and Mark 14:8-9.  She sacrificed a valuable perfumed ointment as she worshipped the Lord.  Jesus said that her beautiful act of worship would be told as a memorial to her.  Mary of Bethany was always found at the feet of Jesus.  When she listened in Luke 10:38-42; when she fell there in sorrow in John 11:28-32; and when she worshipped in John 12:1-11.  She was always misunderstood:  By her sister when she sat at His feet to learn; by her friends when she was going to Jesus and they thought she was going to mourn; and by leaders when she anointed Him and worshipped at His feet.  When people observe something they don’t understand, they are often critical.  If you worship in spirit and truth, be prepared to face criticism.


Jesus redefined worship as the Jewish people knew it.  He emphasized that worship was not in keeping traditions and rituals.  Most importantly, Jesus declared that the greatest commandment is to love and worship God (Matthew 22:37).  Some of us substitute Bible study, ministry, and good works for worship.  How about you?




By studying what the Bible reveals about worship in the early church, we can determine elements that are to be part of a New Covenant worship service.


Acts 2 tells of the formation of the first church, recounting that…. 


…they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 4:41-42)


The church met in homes and on the Lord’s day (John 20:19,26; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2).

They also continued to meet in the synagogue and in the temple (Philemon 2; Romans 16:5; Colossians 4:15).


As members of the early church assembled for worship,  they maintained many components of the service and functions of the synagogue  The major difference was that while members of traditional Jewish synagogues awaited the coming of Messiah, Christians knew He had already come.  While traditional Jews continued the blood sacrifices, Believers did not.

There were several parallels between services in the synagogue and worship in the early Church. These include singing, prayers, reading God’s Word, giving, preaching, and teaching.  It was a custom to invite visitors to address the assembly, which explains how Paul and Silas ministered in the local congregations they visited.


From this and subsequent passages in the books of Acts and the Epistles, we learn that worship services in the early church included:


-Worshipping in Spirit and truth


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)




What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

(1 Corinthians 14:15) 


-Lifting hands in worship.   


 I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. (1 Timothy 2:8) 


Lifting your hands is a sign of worship, surrender, and adoration. This was not invented by modern charismatics, but mandated by God. It was a practice of worship in the Old Testament long before the birth of the Church:


            Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. (Psalm 63:4). 


-Singing.  Singing unto the Lord and speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, making music in their hearts:


Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.  (Ephesians 5:19)


Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  (Colossians 3:16)


-Reading the Scriptures.   The Word of God was given a prominent place in each service:


And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. (Colossians 4:16)


Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. (1 Timothy 4:13)


-Preaching and teaching the Word of God.  Lessons centered on the truth that Jesus was the awaited Messiah as shown by His life, death, and resurrection.  They presented the fact that Jesus Christ will return again, and made appeals for repentance from sin and for people to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.  For examples, see Acts 20:7; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 4:12; 1 Corinthians 14:19.  The message of the cross was emphasized (1 Corinthians 1:17-18; Galatians 6:14).


-Offering spiritual sacrifices of praise.  In the Old Covenant, God required the Israelites to serve Him through a priesthood, a sacrificial system, and in a Temple. In the new covenant, all Believers are priests, all Believers offer spiritual sacrifices of worship, and all Believers are the temple of the Holy Spirit of God:


What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)


By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. (Hebrews 13:15)


-Celebrating the Lord’s Supper. The Apostle Paul directs concerning the Lord’s Supper:


 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26)


-Receiving a collection.


Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him…( 1 Corinthians 16:2)


-Manifesting spiritual gifts.   This included the ministries of diverse tongues and interpretation, prophecy, words of knowledge, miracles, and healings.   First Corinthians chapters 12 and 14 describe in detail how these gifts operated in the early church.


            How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a    doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done       unto edifying. (1 Corinthians 14:26)


-Being baptized in water.  After conversion, people were baptized  in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:


Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (Acts 2:41)


Christian baptism is an outward act symbolizing the inward experience received by faith in Jesus Christ.


-Serving.  The Bible teaches that each Believer has a spiritual gift or gifts (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). The Bible directs all Believers to serve using their gifts to minister to others:


As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (1 Peter 4:10)




Jesus redefined worship during His earthly ministry and the early Church worshipped differently than the traditional worship that was standard in the Temple and the Synagogue. These new principles are articulated and demonstrated in the books of Acts and the Epistles.  They serve as a model for New Testament Believers who desire to worship scripturally.  In chapters fifteen through seventeen, we will explore these biblical element of worship in detail.






























1          Write the key verse. _________________________________________________



2.         Summarize worship principles in the Temple.







3.         Summarize worship in the synagogue.







4.         Discuss the worship principles taught by Jesus.







5.         Summarize worship principles of the early church as recorded in Acts and the Epistles.







6.         How will you apply what you learned about worship in this chapter?  Be sure to apply      New Testament principles as you spend some time in worship when you complete this lesson.








(Answers to Self-Tests are found at the conclusion of this manual.)





Turn to Appendix Three and study the references to “worship” and “worshipped” in the Gospels, Acts, and the Epistles.




























Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:


            -Describe worship in Heaven as depicted in the book of Revelation.

            -Discuss four main truths about worship revealed in the book of Revelation.




After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.  (Revelation 7:9-12)





This chapter continues the study of worship in the New Testament, examining what is revealed about the subject in the book of Revelation as we are taken prophetically into the throne room of God.  The book of Revelation allows us a glimpse into Heaven to observe and learn principles that can be applied to our own worship. 




The Prophet Daniel was the first to describe the throne room of God:


I behold till thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days sat: His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like clean wool: His throne like flames of fire: the wheels of it like a burning fire. A swift stream of fire issued forth from before Him: thousands of thousands ministered to Him, and ten thousand times a hundred thousand stood before Him: the judgment sat and the books were opened. (Daniel 7:9-10)


The Prophet Isaiah added to this description:



In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:

And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.  (Isaiah 6:1-7)


The book of Revelation provides more detailed information on worship in Heaven.  According to  Revelation 4-5, the Apostle John was caught up by the Spirit into heaven through an open door and entered the throne room of God:


After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And He that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thundering and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal... (Revelation 4:1-6a)


Encircling God's throne, John saw a rainbow which glowed like an emerald. The brightly colored hues of the rainbow--emerald green, sapphire blue, and ruby red--all reflected in what John described as a crystal sea of glass before the throne. In front of the throne were seven lamps of fire representing the seven Spirits of God. As John stood there, flashes of lightning shot out from the throne and he heard the roar of thunder.


John’s gaze turned from the throne to an even more glorious sight, the One seated on the throne. John did not see a form with a face, arms, and legs. He saw a brilliant light reflecting colors, which he compared to precious jewels. John said: “And there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the One who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian” (Revelation 4:2-3, NIV).  The carnelian (“sardine stone” in the King James Version) is a red stone, representing the blood of Jesus Christ.


John saw elders around the throne.  The office of elders originated in the Old Testament (Exodus 4:29;12:21; Numbers 11:25; 1 Kings 8:1).  Elders were also leaders in the New Testament Church (Acts 14:23;15:6).  The 24 elders here are not identified, but they may represent the twelve tribes of Israel from the Old Testament and the twelve apostles from the New Testament.  Thus, these elders could be symbolic of the people of God in both Old and New Testament eras.


Clothed in robes of righteousness and wearing crowns of glory, the twenty-four elders are seated in an exalted position before the throne of God.  They are continually in the presence of the Lord giving praise, thanksgiving, and worship honoring God as the divine Creator:


The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Revelation 4:10-11)


In a prominent place around the throne, John saw four “beasts”.  The original Greek word for “beasts” is translated as “living creatures”.  These creatures appeared to Ezekiel in a vision by the river Chebar and he identified them as cherubim angels who served God (Ezekiel 1:1). Isaiah saw similar living creatures in a vision and referred to them as seraphim (Isaiah 6:1).  John said that… the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within... (Revelation 4:6-8)


The living creatures in Revelation are described as a lion, a calf (or lamb), a man, and a flying eagle.  Each of these creatures reflect one of  the attributes of Jesus Christ:


            -He is called the Lion of the tribe of Judah--a victor.

            -He is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world--our Savior.

            -He took on the form of man--deity made flesh.

            -He is like a flying eagle—in strength, vision, swiftness, and abiding in the high places.


Concerning these creatures, John writes:


            ...and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which       was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to           him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever...The four and twenty elders fall           down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever,           and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive      glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they   are and were created.  (Revelation 4:6-11) 


These angelic beings are pictured as leaders of worship. They do not rest, but offer praise day and night to God, saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come” (Revelation 4:8, NIV).  The focus of their praise is the holiness of God.


At the beginning of Revelation chapter 4, John’s attention was drawn to a book in God’s right hand.


And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?  And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. (Revelation 5:1-4)


For thousands of years, God’s end-time plan was a mystery. God revealed a portion of it to His prophet, Daniel, but then sealed up the remainder of the vision (Daniel 12:8-9).


John waits patiently for the book to be opened.  Suddenly, a  mighty angel appears on the scene and proclaims in a loud voice that echoes throughout all of creation: “Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?” (Revelation 5:2).  It is a futile search. No one can be found who is worthy and authorized to open the book and read its contents. The disappointment causes John to weep uncontrollably.


As John wept, one of the twenty-four elders stepped forward to comfort him. He told John: “...Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof…" (Revelation 5:5).  The word “prevailed” in this verse means “to overcome” or “to conquer”.  There was a Conqueror--the Lion of the tribe of Judah--who could open the book. As the Lamb of God that had been slain, Jesus was led to the slaughter and sacrificed.  Here He is depicted as the Lion,  One who conquered Satan and won the victory over sin, death, and hell. As the mighty Conqueror and the Lion of the tribe of Judah, He alone has the right to open the book and break the seals.


All eyes in heaven were focused intently upon Him. The cherubim, the elders, and thousands of angels surrounding the throne all watched in reverence and anticipation.  Suddenly, a time of divine worship breaks forth in Heaven:


And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;  And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever. (Revelation 5:8-14)


As Jesus took the scroll from the right hand of God, John witnessed one of the most glorious scenes recorded in the Bible. Tremendous waves of worship and praise swept throughout heaven. 

First, the living creatures and the elders fell down before the Lamb (Jesus)  to worship.  The elders each had harps and golden vials--or bowls--full of sweet smelling odors representing the prayers of the saints which are collected in heaven in bowls and are as sweet-smelling incense before God. 


The hosts of Heaven praised Jesus because He was worthy to take the book and open the seals.  They worshipped Him because He has provided redemption for every kindred, tongue, people, and nation and established Believers as kings and priests to reign on the earth.  The song the elders and the Cherubim sang was a new song because Jesus established a new covenant through His sacrificial death on the cross. Jesus was the Lamb “slain from the foundation of the world(Revelation 13:8).  Even before the world was spoken into existence, God planned to give His only begotten Son as the perfect sacrifice to redeem mankind out of Satan’s deadly grip.


Next,  multitudes of other angels joined in worship, praising Jesus because He is worthy as the Lamb that was slain to receive power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and blessing.

Finally, all of creation joined in worship, saying, “Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”  (Revelation 5:13). 

This spectacular worship scene ended as the cherubim cried “Amen” and, once again, the elders fell on their faces and worshipped Him who lives forever and ever. 


Before The Throne.  In another worship scene in the Revelation, John described the following:


After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.  (Revelation 7:9-12)


Here, angels and all creation worship the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, who has taken away the sins of the world.  All nations, kindreds, people, and tongues join in the worship.  They worship by praising God for salvation and ascribing to Him blessing, glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, honor, power, and might.


Reigning In Power. At one point in the Revelation, seven angels are called upon to sound trumpets indicating various judgments on earth (chapters 7-9). After the seventh trumpet sounds, another worship scene occurs.


And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail. 

(Revelation 11:15-19)


A Victory Celebration.  Next, angels are summoned to pour out vials of judgment on the earth.   Before these seven vials of God’s wrath are poured out,  John witnesses a great victory celebration in Heaven.  There, before the throne of God on the crystal sea that looked like glass and fire, were thousands of saints who endured the tribulation and won the victory over the Antichrist. These saints had harps and were singing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb:


And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? For thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. (Revelation 15:2-4)


This song is referred to as the “Song of Moses” because it relates back to when God delivered Israel from Egypt and they held a great victory celebration  (Exodus 15:1-21).   It is also called the Song of the Lamb because just as Israel was delivered out of Egypt by the blood of the lamb,  Believers will be delivered out of this world to their Promised Land through the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ.   The angels cannot participate in this song of worship, as they have not experienced salvation. 


At the conclusion of this great time of worship, John saw seven angels clothed in pure linen with golden sashes across their chests. These seven angels, activated by worship and God’s command, proceeded out of the sanctuary to empty their bowls upon the earth, pouring out the final wrath of God upon the wicked:


And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:  And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled. (Revelation 15:5-8)


One of the living creatures gives each of these seven angels a golden vial, bowls full of the wrath of God. As they prepare to pour out these vials of  wrath, John sees the temple filled with the smoke of God’s glory. The glory of His holy presence is so great that no one is able to stand or enter into the sanctuary until the seven bowls of His wrath are emptied out.   This is the kind of glory that was experienced by Solomon in the Temple when the priests could not minister because of the manifestation of the glory of the Lord (1 Kings 8:11).


God’s Righteous Judgments.  John described another worship scene in Heaven saying…


And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:  For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.  And again they said, Alleluia.  And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.  And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.  And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. (Revelation 19:1-6)


This passage begins with "after these things."  After what things?  After the judgments that have come upon the earth as described in previous chapters of Revelation:

            -After the four horsemen.

            -After the opening of the book with seven seals.

            -After the outpouring of the seven trumpet judgments.

            -After the outpouring of the seven vials of God’s wrath.

            -After the thunders sound.

            -After the testimony of the witnesses.

            -After the destruction of Babylon.


Joining this great multitude in praise for God’s righteous judgments are the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures--Cherubim angels--who fall on their faces before God. They cry out, "Amen, Hallelujah!"   A universal call is made to "…Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!" (Revelation 19:5, NIV)


Again the heavens resound with the voices of a great multitude. Like the roar of crashing waves of the ocean and loud clashes of thunder, the voices shout, "…Hallelujah! for our Lord God Almighty reigns…" (Revelation 19:6, NIV).


The original Greek word for "Almighty"  literally means, "one who holds all things in His control."  The all-powerful, supernatural One who holds all things in His control is not an impersonal, detached being up in the sky somewhere.  He is the Lord of all!  Our God is on the throne.  He alone is in control, and He is worthy of worship!


The Marriage Supper.  The glorious praise and worship intensifies as all of Heaven focuses on the greatest celebration of all times, the glorious event that the Church--the Bride of Christ--has long anticipated. The time has come for which Jesus Christ, the Heavenly Bridegroom, has patiently waited.  A multitude of voices joyously proclaim that the marriage of the Lamb is at hand:


Let us rejoice and shout for joy exulting and triumphant! Let us celebrate and ascribe to Him glory and honor, for the marriage of the Lamb [at last] has come and His bride has prepared herself.  She has been permitted to dress in fine (radiant) linen, dazzling and white--for the fine linen is (signifies, represents) the righteousness (the upright, just, and godly living, deeds, and conduct, and right standing with God) of the saints (God's holy people). Then [the angel] said to me, Write this down: Blessed (happy, to be envied) are those who are summoned (invited, called) to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said to me [further], These are the true words (the genuine and exact declarations) of God.  (Revelation 19:7-9, AMP)


The multitudes worship God, giving Him glory and honor, rejoicing that the appointed time for the marriage of the Lamb at last has come.




Worship scenes in the book of Revelation reveal four major truths about worship that are applicable to our worship of God.  These are the focus, fear, frequency, and freedom of heavenly worship. 


-The focus of  worship.  The focus of worship in the book of Revelation is on God the Father and the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.  Their worship emphasizes His holiness, His provision of salvation, His worthiness, and His name.  They honor Him as creator of Heaven and earth.  They ascribe to Him power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and blessing.  They praise Him for redeeming all people and nations.  They worship Him because He reigns over the nations and because of His righteous judgments.  Those who are called to write worship songs do well to linger over the worship passages in Revelation and focus their lyrics focus on similar subjects.


-The fear of  worship.  To fear God is to regard Him with profound and reverent respect (Exodus 19:10–13; 20:20).  The Bible declares:


God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.  (Psalm 89:7)


Worship described in Revelation is not flippant.  It is profoundly respectful of the awesomeness of God.  The Bible says:  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding”  (Proverbs 9:10).  If you want to worship with wisdom and understanding, then you must develop a wholesome fear of the Lord.


-The frequency of worship.  In the throne room of God, angels and elders do not cease to cry “Holy, Holy, Holy” (Revelation 4:8).  There is continuous worship as books are opened, judgments are poured out, prayers are lifted, and the redeemed are gathered. 





-The freedom of worship.  Throughout the book of Revelation there are frequent occasions of spontaneous worship, some is loud, some quiet.  Outbursts of worship are interruptions that God treasures.  In scenes described in  Revelation, worshippers are singing, shouting, falling on their faces, lifting their hands, kneeling, and standing in His presence. 













































1.         Write the key verses.








2.         Summarize the following passages which describe worship in the throne room of God.


-Revelation 4-5.










-Revelation 7:9-12.










-Revelation 11:15-19.














-Revelation 15.









-Revelation 19:1-6.









-Revelation 19:7-9.










3.         Summarize four truths regarding worship that are revealed in the book of Revelation.










4.         How will you apply what you learned about worship in this chapter?





            Spend some time in worship when you complete this lesson.


(Answers to Self-Tests are provided at the conclusion of this manual.)



Turn to Appendix Three and study the references on “worship” and “worshipped” in the book of Revelation.
















































Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

            -Summarize guidelines for preparing for private worship.

            -Summarize guidelines for preparing for corporate worship.

            -Prepare for private worship.

            -Prepare for corporate worship.




            We will go into his tabernacles; we will worship at his footstool (Psalm 132:7)




How do you prepare for worship on Sundays?  Do you get up late, rush in your preparations, listen to the news on the radio on the way to church, and argue about which family member  made you late?  And then you wonder why you don't experience God's presence in the worship service! 


Have you worshipped God during the week? How often do you worship privately?   Private worship prepares you for public worship.  If you are not a personal worshipper, your corporate worship will leave something to be desired.


This chapter focuses on personal preparation for both private and corporate worship.




The survey of the Old and New Testaments in the preceding chapters confirm that Believers are called to worship individually, continuously, and according to biblical directives.  Here are some guidelines to help you prepare for a time of private worship.


 -Season.  Set aside a specific time each day for worship.  Select a time when you are mentally alert.  For some, this may be early morning.  For others, it may be in the evening--which is actually the beginning of the day to God:  “And the evening and the morning were the day” (Genesis 1).  If you are new to private worship, start with a few minutes each day and then progress to longer periods of time.



-Seclusion.  One usually does a better job at a task when they have an assigned location to accomplish it.  For example, cooking in a kitchen, building something in a workshop, conducting business in an office.  Set aside a special place for worship.  Find a quiet place where you can be alone.  A.W. Tozer suggests:


“Retire from the world each day to some private spot…Stay in the secret place till the surrounding noises begin to fade out of your heart and a sense of God’s presence envelops you.”


-Surroundings.  Create surroundings that are conducive to worship.  Here are some options to consider: 


            -Establish a relaxing environment:  A fireplace, a warm blanket, a comfortable chair, or a             beautiful location outside in God’s creation.


            -Use soft Christian music to eliminate environmental distractions.


            -Burn incense or candles.  In the Old Testament, incense was burned morning and             evening before God as part of worship (Exodus 30:7-8).  It was also used in the New          Testament (Luke 1:10).   Candles were kept burning perpetually before the Lord in the          Tabernacle.


            -The ascending fragrance is symbolic of your prayers and worship ascending to                             God:


                        And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended                        up before God... (Revelation 8:4)


            -Burning incense honors the name of the Lord:


                        For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name                                shall be great among the Gentiles (nations); and in every place incense shall be                            offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the                         heathen, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 1:11)


-Silence.  Silence your phone, the television, and other distractions.  As Frances Roberts stated:  “Silence will speak more to you in a day than the world of voices can teach you in a lifetime.”


A.W. Tozer advises:


“Deliberately tune out the unpleasant sounds…Call home your thoughts. Gaze on Christ with the eyes of your soul.  Practice spiritual concentration.” 





Dr. Charles Stanley notes:


“You and I are blessed and cursed with constant communication through our phones, tablets, and computers.  But true communion with the Lord demands some seclusion.  So let’s turn off the TV, music, and phone notifications…Claim a block of time for the Heavenly Father today, even if you start with only five minutes.”


-Supplies.  Keep paper and a pen or pencil handy.  Be prepared for God to speak to you as you worship Him.


-Spiritual preparation.  The psalmist declared:  “Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.  This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it” (Psalms 118:19-20, ESV).  According to the Psalmist the only way to enter into the presence of the Lord is by going through the gates of righteousness. Only those who are righteous are allowed entrance through those gates.


That leaves us with a dilemma because Romans 3:10-12 states:  “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one” (ESV).  So how can we prepare spiritually to enter God’s presence?


The call for worship is "Let us draw near."


Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.  (Hebrews 10:22)


As you are drawing near, the checkpoints are:

            -Sincerity:  A true heart.

            -Confidence:  In full assurance of faith.

            -Humility:  Knowledge that you are unworthy other than through the blood.

            -Purity: Daily washing with the pure water of the Word of God.


You can enter God’s presence boldly to worship because of the blood of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:16).  Prepare to enter by confessing your sin:


Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;  And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:19-22)


Ask God to empower your worship by His Holy Spirit.  Enter His presence with thanksgiving and praise and bless His name.          


Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. (Psalm 100:4)


Just as there was a prescribed way to enter the Old Testament tabernacle, there is a proper way for you to enter God's presence.  You move towards the destination of His presence by thanksgiving and praise.  As you  praise, you build a spiritual place for God to come down and inhabit so you can worship Him intimately in spirit and truth. 


Begin to worship by meditating on God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.  J.L. Packer defined meditation as “the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying to oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and purposes and promises of God.”  Meditation is an important part of worship.  To learn more about it, obtain the free study on “Biblical Meditation” at:  


Allow the Holy Spirit to guide your worship. Incorporate some of the biblical elements of worship discussed in this manual such as singing, playing musical instruments, clapping, shouting, dancing before the Lord, lifting your hands, standing in His presence, kneeling, falling prostrate before him, or waving flags and banners. 


Your private worship habits greatly affect your corporate worship, which is the next subject of this chapter.




It is important to prepare to participate regularly in corporate worship.


-God made this clear in the giving of the law in Exodus 19. God called the people to prepare personally for a corporate encounter with Him (Exodus 19:10-11). 


-In Exodus 40, God dictated 34 verses to tell Moses how to prepare the tabernacle for corporate worship. Moses followed these instructions exactly.  


-In 1 Timothy 3:15, Paul admonishes Believers to learn how to behave ourselves in the House of the Lord.


            -The book of Hebrews warns:  “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and            to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of             some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day      approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).








Solomon admonished:


Keep your foot [give your mind to what you are doing] when you go [as Jacob to sacred Bethel] to the house of God. For to draw near to hear and obey is better than to give the sacrifice of fools [carelessly, irreverently] too ignorant to know that they are doing evil. (Ecclesiastes 5:1, TAB )


What Solomon was saying is that one should be prepared for corporate worship when they go to God’s house. What you are doing is important, and you should be serious about it.


Here are some guidelines to prepare for corporate worship.


-Personal preparation.  Worship does not start when you enter the church building.  Prepare your heart for corporate worship by worshipping throughout the week.  Ask God to forgive your sins and prepare you to enter His presence on the day of worship.


-Pre-service preparation.  Learn from the Jews who observe Sabbath from sundown the evening before.  Your activities the night before and morning of the day you attend corporate worship services will affect your worship either positively or negatively.   Don’t stay up so late the night before that you are too tired to worship passionately.  As you travel to service, begin to praise God or listen to worship music.  The period of time between your arrival at church and the start of the worship service is also crucial.  How you interact with other church members can affect your worship.


-The worship service.


            -Arrive on time—or even ahead of time!  Worship is not a musical prelude to the sermon to provide time for you to straggle in late.  That is disrespectful to others and, more    importantly, to God.  Treat the worship service as an appointment with God—which it is.  Would you be late if you were called before the throne?


            -Begin with an attitude of expectancy, believing for an awesome worship experience.       The very fact that you have assembled with other Believers is in itself an act of worship       because you are showing that God has worth by giving Him your time and attention.


            -Tune out any distractions going on around you such as late arrivers, a crying child, other             members of the congregation, etc. Focus on God.


            -Participate in thanksgiving and praise which lead you to enter God’s presence.  Know     that you can enter His presence boldly to worship because of the blood of Jesus Christ   (Hebrews 4:16).  Do not worship halfheartedly.  Participate passionately with all of your        might.  Think about how people respond at sporting events or concerts.  We are not         talking about the rowdiness of these events, but the passionate participation:  People stand to their feet, they sing, they clap, and they shout.



            -Follow the direction of those who are leading the congregation in worship, while yet       remaining open to the moving of the Holy Spirit in your own response.

            -Give regularly. Bring your tithes and offerings.  Giving is part of worship.


            -Listen attentively to the Word of God and be prepared to respond. 


            -Pray during corporate prayer, as prayer is a vital part of worship.


Remember that the true test of worship is not what happens at church, but how it affects your home life, your conduct on the job, your behavior, and your attitudes.  Does your worship make a difference in the way you live?









































1.         Write the key verse.





2.         Summarize guidelines for private worship discussed in this chapter.














3.         Summarize guidelines for corporate worship discussed in this chapter.









4.         How will you apply what you learned about worship in this chapter?  What steps will you            take to prepare for private worship?  What steps will you take to prepare for corporate worship?





            Spend some time in worship when you complete this lesson.



(Answers to Self-Tests are found at the conclusion of this manual.)







Study these benefits of worshipping God.


-You will be saved:  John 4:23-24.


-You will have perfect peace:  Isaiah 26:3.


-You will experience the rest of God: Psalm 95:6-11; Hebrews 4:9-11.


-You will abide in God’s presence:  Psalm 27:4; 65:4.


-You will be filled with joy: Luke 24:52; Psalm 16:11; 2 Chronicles 31;25-26.


-You will escape the judgment of God:  Hebrews 10:25-27.


-You will receive the desires of your heart: Psalm 37:4.


-You will be delivered from evil:  Daniel 3:18,28.


-You will deal with idols in your life: 2 Chronicles 31:1.


-You will be delivered from sorrow and trouble:  Psalm 32:10-11.


-You will find grace and help in times of need: Hebrews 4:15-16.


-You will experience a strong bond with other Believers:  Acts 2:42,46; 1 John 1:3. 

















Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

            -Summarize the Old Testament record of singing in worship.

            -Summarize the New Testament record of singing in worship.

            -Identify when and where you should sing unto the Lord.

            -List results of singing in worship.

            -Explain how to sing to the Lord.

            -Summarize reasons to sing to the Lord.




            Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.           (Isaiah 12:5)




This chapter and the next two discuss elements of worship as revealed in the Word of God.  As you begin these chapters instead of being controlled by your church traditions, determine that 7you will be open to all of these biblical elements of worship.  Also remember:


“…it is not the bowing, the dancing, the clapping, and the singing that produce true worship, for at best they can only express that worship   It is the worship that produces the jubilant responses.  True worship may  have its times of silence as well as its times of singing and shouting, but the method of expression does not of itself determine the intensity of the worship.”  Judson Cornwall


This chapter focuses on singing in worship, a subject about which the scriptures have much to say. 














The scriptures reveal that God is a singer, singing originated with Him, and He sings over you:


            The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice ov