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Chapter 18
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THANKSGIVING, PRAISE AND WORSHIP


The greatest honor of the citizens of any kingdom is to have audience with their King and come before him.

It is their opportunity to honor him and pledge their allegiance to him.

It is also an opportunity to present him with a special gift.

They would carefully follow all royal protocol in their behavior toward him and show him great respect.

When approaching the throne they would bow or curtsey and not speak until spoken to by the King. They would then address the King with words like "Your Royal Highness."

It would be appropriate when presenting the King with a gift to express their thankfulness and gratitude to him.

They would take the opportunity to praise the King for his greatness, wisdom, many achievements and carefully listen to what he has to say.

One of the greatest Kings that ever lived was King Solomon.

He built a magnificent Palace and when the Queen of Sheba saw it, it took her breath away.

The Bible describes his Throne Room:

2 Chronicles 9:17-20

"Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold.

And there were six steps to the throne, with a footstool of gold, which were fastened to the throne, and stays on each side of the sitting place, and two lions standing by the stays:

And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps.

There was not the like made in any kingdom."

However Solomon's throne cannot be compared to the magnificent Throne of the God of Heaven and Earth, JEHOVAH.

Coming before Gods Throne:

Christians are children of the Most High God and citizens of His Kingdom.

They have the right to approach this supreme Throne of the King of the Universe and render Him obeisance.

After preparing themselves they carefully approach His Throne with respect and humilty.

What a priceless privilege it is to come before Him and enjoy His awesome presence.

The Bible describes this heavenly domain.

It is greater in size than the universe.

Isaiah 66:1

"Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool:"

There are five things to consider about Gods Throne:

1. Gods Throne is magnificent.

Revelation 4:2-6

"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 before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal:"

Revelation 4:5

"There were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Take a moment and imagine Gods Throne Room.

In front of His Throne is a crystal sea bigger than all the oceans of the world.

Gods Throne rises up bigger than the Universe.

It shines so brightly that no human eye can look upon it.

Around the Throne there is an emerald green rainbow.

Huge Seraphims protect the Throne crying with thunderous voices, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts.

Seven fire burning lamps are before Gods Throne.

The mist of Gods presence glorifies everything.

2. An indescribable power proceeds from Gods Throne.

Revelation 4:5

"There were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Take a moment and imagine Gods Throne Room.

In front of His Throne is a crystal sea bigger than all the oceans of the world.

Gods Throne rises up bigger than the Universe.

It shines so brightly that no human eye can look upon it.

Around the Throne there is an emerald green rainbow.

Huge Seraphims protect the Throne crying with thunderous voices, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts.

Seven fire burning lamps are before Gods Throne.

The mist of Gods presence glorifies everything.

2. An indescribable power proceeds from Gods Throne.

Revelation 4:5

"And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices:"

Awesome power sustaining the life of every creature and atom in the Universe proceed from Gods throne.

His decrees control the orbit of the earth around the sun and all of creation.

Millions of prayers reaching Gods Throne every second are answered.

3. Gods Throne is surrounded by many Celebrities:

Cherubim's and Seraphim are worshipping God.

Archangels Michael and Gabriel await Gods commands.

Myriads of Angelic hosts are ready to do Gods bidding.

Patriarchs like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob grace the Heavenly Palace.

Hero's like Moses, Samuel, David, Daniel, Peter, Paul, John, Mary and many other Godly Saints come before His Throne to bring glory to God.

4. God who sits upon His Throne is beyond description.

He is:

Ancient of days

Elohim  - Creator of Heaven and Earth

El-eljon - God Most High

El-shaddai - God Almighty

Yahweh - Jehovah

Isaiah and David saw God upon His Throne and became terrified.

Isaiah 6:1-5

"I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

Above it stood the seraphim's: 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."

Psalm 18:6-10
"I cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple,
Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.
He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.
And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind."

5. How we approach this awesome God.

We come before God with reverence and greatly praise Him.

This is what David said.

Psalm 138:2-5

"I will worship toward thy holy temple ...for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth.

Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD: for great is the glory of the LORD."

Psalm 104:1-2

"Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment:"

An appropriate way of approaching God.

When we come before God we should ask Him to cleanse us from all sin and sanctify us with the precious Blood of Jesus.

Psalm 24:3-4

"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."

Matthew 6:9-12

"Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven ... forgive us our sins."

I John 1:7

"And the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."

Once we have been sanctified we do three things:

a. Thank Him.

b. Praise Him.

c. Worship Him.

Our thanksgiving, praise and worship are directed toward God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Thanksgiving.

The word thanksgiving means an expression of gratitude to God. (Saying thanks to God)

We thank Him for all the things that He has done for us and others.

Thank you God:

For giving Yourself to me.

For becoming my Heavenly Father.

For giving Jesus Christ as my Savior.

For giving me the Holy Spirit.

For giving me the Word of God.

For saving me.

For writing my name in the Book of Life.

For giving me everlasting life.

For delivering me from sinful habits.

For restoring my soul.

For healing me.

For supplying all my needs.

For your Divine Nature of love, mercy, kindness, truth, justice, life, peace, joy, glory.

There are so many other things that we can thank God for.

Praise.

The word praise means to warmly commend someone for their attributes and who they are.

To praise God means to extol and glorify Him.

Praising God can be done privately in our home or openly before people.

It can also be done together with other Christians with prayers or songs of praise.

There are five different utterances of praise:

1. Words of praise.

2. Statements of praise.

3. Songs of praise.

4. Scriptures of praise.

5. Prayers of praise.

There are four important things of praise we need to know:

1. Praise is a powerful weapon.

Acts 16:25-26

"And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed."

2 Chronicles 20:22

"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."

Praise is a powerful weapon that brings about the defeat of our enemies.

2. We praise God for who He is.

We praise Him for His:

Greatness. 

Omnipotence.

Omniscience.

Omnipresence.

Eternal existence.

Divine Nature.

There are so many other things to praise God about.

His praise should be continually within our mouth.

Psalm 34:1

"I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth."

3. Praise is a way of entry into Gods Courts.

Psalm 100:4

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise."

It is with praise that we are allowed entrance into these exclusive Heavenly Courts. There we experience more of God and the things of God. It is here that we are clothed with a special garment of praise.

Isaiah 61:3

"To give unto them ... the garment of praise."

4. God is to be praised continually and in all circumstances.

Psalm 71:8

"Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day."

Hebrews 13:15

"By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually."

We can praise God in difficult times because we know that all things we experience are for our good.

Romans 8:28

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God."

Children enjoy a close relationship with their parents.

A child may sit on a father's knee, look into his eyes and experience a special closeness with him.

There is something special in this relationship of sharing intimate feelings and words of love.

This loving relationship of Gods children and their Heavenly Father is wonderful.

In these moments of worship we are close to God.

We also experience very precious moments in worshiping our lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Worshiping God.

The word worship means to be devoted to, honor, respect and adore someone of Divinity.

Worshiping God is a deep spiritual experience and may be expressed in four ways:

1.  Our worship may be expressed outwardly with words and gifts to God.

We have the example of Mary Magdalene worshiping Jesus in the company of others.

Luke 7:37-38

"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."

2. Worship can also be very intimate.

When we are alone with God we can share our deep innermost secrets and warm feelings of love for Him.

3. We may also worship God as Priests, in our Priestly Office.

As Children of God Jesus has appointed us to be Royal Priesthood unto God.

Revelation 5:10

"And hast made us unto our God... priests"

1 Peter 2:9

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood."

It is our Priestly responsibility to offer up praise and worship to Him.

2 Peter 2:5

"A royal priesthood... that ye should shew forth the praises of him;"

Hebrews 13:15

"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."

As Priests we may spend time in Gods presence bringing Him our sacrifices of worship. They ascend before His Throne as holy incense and are:

a. Sacrifices of our lips.

b. Sacrifices of our body. (This could be suffering through persecution or fasting.)

Romans 12:

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."

4. Worship is a Ministry of excellence in the Temple.

The worship in Solomon's Temple was a wonderful example of excellence.

Four thousand people praised God.

1 Chronicles 23:5

"Four thousand praised the LORD with the instruments which I made, said David, to praise therewith."

One hundred and twenty Priests played the trumpet.

2 Chronicles 5:12

"Being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:"

Twenty-four choirs sang and had one hundred and fifty members in each choir.

Each ministered unto the Lord for two weeks in the Temple.

They came to Jerusalem from all over Israel.

Once a year four thousand came together in one mass choir and sang for two weeks during the main Feast. All things were done excellently unto the Lord.

Josephus the historian said that the music and singing during this time could be heard echoing for miles over the mountains near Jerusalem.

The priestly activities of the Old Testament Tabernacle are symbolical of our New Testament priestly activities within the Temple of the Holy Ghost. The Tabernacle in the wilderness consisted of an outer court, a holy place and a holy of holies.

We are the Temples of the Holy Spirit in this New Testament time.

We consist of three parts:

A body.

A soul.

A spirit.

1 Corinthians 6:19

"What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you."

The Outer Court of the Tabernacle is symbolical of our human body where physical sacrifices are made to God. With our bodies we kneel, speak, sing and lift up our hands.

The Holy Place is symbolical of the human soul and here from our emotion, mind and will we offer the incense of praise and worship to God. These are our thoughts, feelings and decisions of praise and worship.

The Holy of Holies is symbolical of the human spirit where God is present.

Our worship of God knows three dimensions:

1. Worshiping God with our physical Body.

2. Worshiping God with our Soul.

3. Worshiping God with our Spirit.

Worshiping God is the highest ultimate experience of heaven, earth and creation.

Revelation 4:8-11

"And the four beasts ... rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth forever 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."

We are called to worship God in Spirit:

John 4:23

"True worshippers ... worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him."

Spiritual worship transcends and is deeper than physical or intellectual worship. It comes from the realm of the spirit. Genuine true spirit worship pleases God more than all other forms of worship. It is the most important activity of our spiritual lives. It may take place at all times, in all circumstances and all situations.

Ephesians 5:20

"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;"

In times of desperate need, worshiping God takes precedence over our need.

We first worship God and then He will take care of our needs.

Mark 7:25

"For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet:"

After she fell at Jesus feet and worshipped Him, He took care of her need.

There are three kinds of worship:

1. Strange worship.

Leviticus 10:1

"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."

2. Ignorant worship.

There are manmade forms of liturgical or traditional worship that are not pleasing to God. 

Jesus said:

Matthew 15:9

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

Paul speaks of people who worship God in ignorance.

Acts 17:23

"To the unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you."

We should not be ignorant in worship. The Bible clearly teaches us what we have to do.

3. True worship.

This kind of worship costs something and God demands our best.

1 Chronicles 16:29

"Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness."

Malachi 1:6-8

"Where is mine honour? Where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar;

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."

When David worshipped the Lord God, it cost him a great price.

1 Chronicles 21:23-24

"And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all.

And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost."

There is a definite way of approaching God:

Psalm 100:4

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name."

It is threefold:

1. We firstly enter the gates of Gods presence with thanksgiving.

2. We then enter His courts with praise.

Here we are drawn closer to God because He inhabits our praises.

Psalm 22:3

"But thou art holy, O thou that inhabits the praises of Israel."

The Hebrew word for inhabit is "yashab" and means to sit or dwell with.

3. We love and worship God.

Understanding the Hebrew words relating to thanksgiving, praise and worship.

Here are eight words that are used:

1. Hallal.

This word occurs eighty-eight times in the New Testament and means to celebrate or boast in the Lord. When we boast about God, everyone knows how we feel about Him. He is the greatest!

We call all our family and friends together to celebrate His existence in our lives. He is our celebration!

2. Hilluwi.

It means to say thanks for what God has given.

3. Tehillah.

It means to sing or boast in the Lord.

4. Shabach.

It means to shout in triumph when experiencing victory.

5. Yadah.

It means to lift up and extend our hands in adoration and towards God.

6. Barak.

It means to kneel before God in adoration.

7. Towdah.

It means to lift up and extend our hands in thanksgiving to God.

8. Zamar.

It means to touch and play the strings of a musical instrument with great rejoicing.

We may personally experience and enjoy all forms of praise and worship.

There is a definite measuring scale of thanksgiving, praise and worship.

It ranges from the lowest to the highest level of praise:

1. Natures praise is the lowest form.

Luke 19:37-40

"And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;

Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.

And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out."

This is a praise that ascends to God from all of nature.

2. From babes and sucklings.

This praise is higher than that of creation.

Matthew 21:16

"Have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?"

3. Hallal -

Talking to others about Gods goodness.

4. Hilluwi -

Thanking God.

5. Tehillah -

Singing to others about the goodness of God.

6. Shabach -

Shouting triumphantly in victory over satan and his kingdom.

7. Yadah -

Lifting up our hands in praise and worship to God.

8. Barak -

Kneeling or laying prostrate before God in worship.

9. Spirit Praise -

This is the highest form of praise and worship.

1 Corinthians 14:15

"What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit."

This is speaking and singing to God with our human spirit by the Holy Spirit.

It is speaking and singing in tongues "glossais" which is "heavenly languages".

That's what happened to Paul and Silas in Acts 16:25. When their praises became the high praises of God, it caused an earthquake that shook the foundations of the prison and brought about their deliverance.

David refers to this kind of praise.

Psalm 149:6-9

"Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand:

To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;

To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;

To execute upon them the judgment written: This honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD."

This is God kind of praise and worship.

Dealing with incorrect or incomplete thanksgiving, praise and worship:

Thanksgiving, praise and worship to God often needs to be corrected or perfected:

Incorrect praise is:

In ignorance,

With pride,

Incompletely,

Traditionally.

It may need correcting, adjusting or perfecting.

The Holy Spirit perfects the praise and worship of Christians.

Acts 2:11-17

"We do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, what meaneth this?

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them,

This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel:

And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh:"

Thanksgiving, praise and worship is very important for end-time Christians.

We know that the Holy Spirit is restoring the end-time Church of Jesus Christ.

Christians are being enlarged in their spiritual understanding. Their intentions and expressions of thanksgiving, praise and worship are being purified. We have been given a prophetic word about this.

Acts 15:16

"After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:"

David built this Tabernacle for the Ark of the Covenant. It was there where he came before the Lord in worship. It was a place where God manifested His presence and glory.

When the Temple of Solomon was built, the Tabernacle of David was broken down.

We understand that true and glorious worship of God will be restored in the end-time.

David exhorts us to praise God in his last recorded Psalm:

Psalm 150:1-6

"Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.

Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.

Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.

Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD."

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