“TRUE WORSHIP VS. FALSE WORSHIP”
The Bible clearly defines and illustrates both true worship and false worship. TRUE WORSHIPERS WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH! Of course, FALSE WORSHIP is the opposite of TRUE WORSHIP.
GOD IS LOOKING FOR TRUE WORSHIPERS
John 4:23-24 – But the hour is coming, and now is, when the TRUE WORSHIPERS will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to WORSHIP HIM. 24 God is Spirit, and those who WORSHIP HIM MUST WORSHIP in spirit and truth.”
Later in this message we will continue the story of the Ombu Tree. For now, let’s let this picture of the Ombu tree represent our lives. Our life is to be like a tree that bears good fruit.
An Ombu tree in Argentina
BAD TREES – BAD FRUIT
Matthew 3:10… every TREE which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Matthew 7:15-20 “Beware of FALSE PROPHETS, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?
GOOD TREES – GOOD FRUIT
Matthew 7:15-20 (Cont) Even so, every good TREE bears good fruit, but a bad TREE bears bad fruit. 18 A good TREE cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad TREE bear good fruit. 19 Every TREE that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their FRUITS you will know them.
Isaiah 61:1-3 – “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor… to comfort all who mourn, 3 to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called TREES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, the planting of the Lord, that He may be GLORIFIED.”
TRUE WORSHIP – LOVING GOD
Set your affection (love) on things above… (Galatians 5:1)
Whole-hearted, sincere worship – Ps 103:1 –Bless the Lord O my soul, and all that is within me! Body, soul, and spirit (Heart, soul, mind, strength – Mark 12:29-31).
FALSE WORSHIP – NOT LOVING GOD
James 1:6-8 – let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a DOUBLE-MINDED man, unstable in all his ways.
Matthew 6:24 – “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever is valued more than the Lord]. (AMP)
TRUE WORSHIP – IN TRUTH
John 14:6 …“I am the way, THE TRUTH, and the life…” (JESUS)
John 1:14,17 – And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and TRUTH… grace and TRUTH came through Jesus Christ.
John 8:31-32,36 – Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the TRUTH, and the TRUTH shall make you free… Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
John 17:17 – Sanctify them by Your TRUTH. Your WORD IS TRUTH.
NOT TRUE, …accompanied with LIES and DECEPTION and is HYPOCRITICAL!
TRUE WORSHIP – FAITH / FAITHFULNESS
Abraham’s Faith (Romans 4).
Romans 4:20,21 – He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
Faith demonstrates WORSHIP; Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6); Faith without works is dead (James 2:14,18,20).
FALSE WORSHIP – UNBELIEF / FALSE GODS
Doubt and unbelief is NOT TRUE WORSHIP! False gods and idolatry are an abomination to God! We are instructed to flee from idolatry, not participate in it (I Corinthians 10:14).
I Samuel 15:23 – For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Isaiah 44:9 – Those who make an image, all of them are useless, And their precious things shall not profit; They are their own witnesses; They neither see nor know, that they may be ashamed.
Colossians 3:5 – Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
Psalm 115:1-8 – Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to Your name give glory... our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.
4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. 5 They have mouths, but they do not speak; Eyes they have, but they do not see; 6 They have ears, but they do not hear; Noses they have, but they do not smell; 7 They have hands, but they do not handle; Feet they have, but they do not walk; Nor do they mutter through their throat. 8 Those who make them are like them; So is everyone who trusts in them.
TRUE WORSHIP – IN SPIRIT / SPIRIT LED
“in spirit” has to do with worship from deep within us – our inner person (“inner-man”) – from our spirit!
Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:16 – that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the innerman…
Ephesians 5:18 ….be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…
FALSE WORSHIP –NOT in Spirit
Worship that is Not from our spirit – fleshly, carnal, and dis-honoring to the Lord; Not Holy Spirit led, inspired, and empowered; Just lip-service, pretentious – not sincere, just a show…!
TRUE WORSHIP – SEEKING THE LORD
Matthew 6:33 – SEEK 1st the kingdom of God and His righteousness…
Matthew 7:7-8 – “Ask, and it will be given to you; SEEK, and you will find… For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds…
Psalm 27:8 – When You said, “SEEK My face,” My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will SEEK.” (David, a true worshiper, and man after God’s heart).
FALSE WORSHIP – NOT SEEKING THE LORD
Psalm 10:4 – The wicked in his proud countenance does NOT SEEK GOD; God is in none of his thoughts.
Psalm 4:2 – How long, O you sons of men, Will you turn my glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness and SEEK FALSEHOOD?
TRUE WORSHIP – DELIGHTING IN THE LORD
Psalm 37:4 – Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 1:2 – his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.
Psalm 40:8 – I delight to do Your will, O my God…
FALSE WORSHIP – NO PLEASURE IN THE LORD
2 Thessalonians 2:12 – that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Ecclesiastes 12:1 – Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them”: …
TRUE WORSHIP – ACCEPTABLE SACRIFICES
Psalm 19:14 – Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be ACCEPTABLE in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.
Romans 12:1-2 – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, ACCEPTABLE to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and ACCEPTABLE and perfect will of God.
I Peter 2:5,9 – you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual SACRIFICES ACCEPTABLE to God through Jesus Christ…. 9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; …
FALSE WORSHIP – UNACCEPTABLE SACRIFICES
Leviticus 22:20 – Whatever has a defect, you shall not offer, for it shall NOT BE ACCEPTABLE on your behalf.
Jeremiah 6:20 – Your burnt offerings are NOT ACCEPTABLE, nor your sacrifices sweet to Me.”
Cain and Abel
Illustration: Cain and Abel’s sacrifices.
Abel’s was acceptable; Cain’s was not acceptable!
GOD WILL NOT BE MOCKED
Galatians 6:7 – Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
Mark 4:-18-19 – Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, 19 and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires (lusts*) for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
* (lusts of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life)– chokes the Word and it becomes unfruitful!
THE Old Testament is IMPORTANT!
This is a special reminder to those who only read in the New Testament/Psalms/Proverbs.There are some very special Revelations of God in the Old Testament, as well! The Old Testament helps produce the fear of God! It reveals the importance of TRUE WORSHIP – (with many illustrations). Here are several poignant illustrations from the Old Testament…
DANIEL AND HIS FRIENDS
Daniel 1:1-9 – In the third year of the reign of King Jehoiakim of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 God gave King Jehoiakim of Judah into his hand, along with some of the vessels of the House of God. He brought them into the land of Shinar…to the house of his god and put the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
Special note: Nebuchadnezar was a heathen king – serving a FALSE GOD!
Daniel 1:1-9 (cont) 3 Then the king told Ashpenaz the chief of his officials to bring in some of the sons of Israel from royal descent and nobility— 4 youths without any defect, handsome, proficient in all wisdom, knowledgeable, intelligent and capable of serving in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. 5 The king allotted them a daily portion from the king’s delicacies and from the wine that he drank. They were to be trained for three years, and at the end they were to stand before the king.6 Now among them were some from the sons of Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 The chief officer gave them new names: to Daniel, Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-nego.8 BUT Daniel purposed in his HEART (resolved; determined) NOT to defile himself with the king’s delicacies or with the wine he was drinking, so he entreated the chief official for permission not to defile himself. Now God caused the chief official to show mercy and compassion to Daniel.
Special note: The were willing to stand alone out of faithfulness to the Lord, regardless what others around them were doing. They were determined not to be defiled, and to live holy lives. God blessed them for it, and gave them favor.
Daniel 1:11-12 – Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days, giving us just vegetables (pulse) to eat and water to drink…. 14 So he listened to them in this matter and tested them for ten days.15 At the end of ten days their appearance looked better and their bodies healthier than all the youths who ate the king’s food. 16 So the guard took away their delicacies and the wine they were supposed to drink and gave them vegetables instead. 17 Now as for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and proficiency in every kind of wisdom and literature…18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them in, the chief official presented them before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 When the king spoke with them, he did not find among all of them anyone like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers throughout his realm.
Special note: Even before we get to chapter 3, it is interesting to see the backdrop in the lives of Shadrach, Meshach and Obednego. They were no push overs!
The King’s Dream
Daniel 2:31-49 – …“You looked, O king, and behold, there before you stood a huge statue—an enormous and dazzling image, whose appearance was awesome. 32 The head of that statue was of pure gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, and its feet partly iron and partly clay. 34 While you were watching, A STONE was cut out, but not by hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from summer threshing-floors that the wind blows away. Not a trace of them could be found. Then THE STONE that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth…
Daniel 1:44-45 – “Now in the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will this kingdom be left to another people. It will crush and bring to an end all of these kingdoms. But it will endure forever. 45 For just as you saw a STONE cut out of a mountain, yet not by hands, crush the iron, bronze, clay, silver and gold, the GREAT GOD has made known to the king what will happen in the future. Now the dream is certain, and its interpretation is trustworthy.”
Special note: This is significant for these last days – stone that destroyed the image became a great mountain (kingdom) that filled the whole earth.
When the interpretation was given – Daniel made a ruler and one of the chief men. Not only Daniel but Shadrach, Meshack and Obednego were appointed to be overseers and administrators.
Daniel 2:48-49 – Then the king promoted Daniel and lavished on him many marvelous gifts and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego over the administration of the province of Babylon, while Daniel remained at the royal court.
Daniel 3 – THE GOLDEN IMAGE
King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide. He set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.
Daniel 3:1-33 – …2 Then King Nebuchadnezzar summoned … (princes, governors, counselors, judges…) – all the authorities of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. 3 Then … all the authorities of the provinces assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had erected. They stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.4 Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “You are commanded O peoples, nations and languages, 5 that when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyr e, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and WORSHIP the golden IMAGE that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6 Whoever does not fall down and WORSHIP will that same hour be thrown into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.” 7 Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and pipes, and all kinds of music, all the peoples, nations and languages fell down and WORSHIPPED the golden IMAGE that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
8 At that time certain Chaldeans came forward and denounced the Jews. 9 They spoke up and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! 10 You, O king, made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, must fall down and worship the golden IMAGE, 11 and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire. 12 There are certain Jews whom you appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego—those men pay no heed to you, O king. They do not serve your gods, nor will they WORSHIP the golden image that you have set up.”
13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar ordered Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego to be summoned. When these men were brought before the king, 14 Nebuchadnezzar responded to them saying, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you don’t serve my gods or WORSHIP the golden IMAGE that I set up? 15 Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and pipes and all kinds of music you MUST fall down and WORSHIP the IMAGE that I have made. But if you do not WORSHIP, you will immediately be thrown into the midst of a furnace of BLAZING FIRE! Then what god will be able to deliver you out of my hands?”
- Everyone followed the king’s royal mandate EXCEPT Shadrach, Meshach, and Obednego.
- They were brought before the king.
- The king was furious with them when they refused to worship his false god, and mocked them!
- They remained faithful to the Lord – TRUE WORSHIPERS! They refused to serve his gods!
Daniel 3:1-33 (Cont) 16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king saying, …17 If it is so, our God whom we serve is able to save us from the furnace of blazing fire and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 Yet even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor WORSHIP the golden IMAGE that you set up.”
19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with rage and the appearance of his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than it was normally heated.20 and commanded some of the mighty men in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego and to cast them into the furnace of blazing fire.
21 So these men, wearing their robes, tunics, hats and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the furnace of blazing fire. 22 But because the king’s order was so urgent and the furnace so extremely hot, a raging flame killed those men who carried up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, fell bound into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire.
24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and leapt to his feet. He asked his ministers, “Didn’t we cast three men bound into the middle of the fire?” They replied to the king, “Surely, O king.” 25 But he answered saying, “Look! I see four men walking about unbound and unharmed in the MIDDLE OF THE FIRE, and the fourth has the appearance like a son of the gods (the Son of God)!” 26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire and exclaimed, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, servants of the MOST HIGH GOD, come out and come here!”
So Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego came out from the middle of the fire. 27 When the princes, administrators, governors and royal ministers had gathered around, they saw that the FIRE had no effect on the bodies of these men. Not a hair of their head was singed, nor were their robes scorched, nor was there a smell of FIRE on them.
- They were thrown into the furnace of blazing fire! It was so hot that it killed the mighty men in the army throwing them into it!
- They were thrown in bound…
- When the king looked in through the door he was astonished, and amazed!
- He saw 4 men walking, UNBOUND, and unharmed in THE MIDST OF THE FIRE!
- He shouted – – “servants of the MOST HIGH GOD, come out and come here!”
- They came out – unharmed. The king blessed and praised the Lord!
- The king praised them for being TRUE WORSHIPERS! They were promoted! He gave the Lord praise!
Daniel 3:1-33 (Cont) – 28 Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him! They defied the king’s edict and to gave up their lives rather than serve or WORSHIP any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I hereby decree that any people, nation or language that says anything slanderous against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego will be torn limb from limb and their house made a pile of rubble, because there is no other god that is able to deliver in this way.” 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego in the province of Babylon.31 King Nebuchadnezzar—To all peoples, nations and languages who dwell in all the earth: May your peace abound! 32 It seemed good to me to declare the signs and wonders that God Most High has done for me.33 How great are His signs, how mighty are His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, His dominion from generation to generation.
Daniel 5 – Belshazzar his son still worshiped false gods, and he was destroyed.
Belshazzer (Nebuchanezzar’s son) vs 4 – drinking wine and praising the gods made of gold and silver, bronze, wood and stone… There was handwriting on the wall – Daniel was called to read it and interpret it… He reproved him for exalting himself against the Lord of heaven – drinking wine in the vessels of God’s house, and praising the gods made of silver and gold and bronze, iron, wood and stone which cannot see or hear or understand. “
Daniel 5 (Cont) – You did not honor the God who holds in His hand your very breath and all your ways….. The interpretation of the inscription – “God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end… You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting. Your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.” On that very night King Belshazzar of the Chaldeans was slain.
Daniel 6 – DANIEL AND THE LIONS DEN
Daniel 6 – The other supervisors and princes were jealous and tried to find ground for accusation, but were unable to find fault or corruption, because he was trustworthy and no negligence or dishonesty could be found in him.
Daniel 6:7-29– So these supervisors and princes went in to the king as a group, and said to him, “King Darius, live forever! 8 All the supervisors of the realm, the magistrates and princes, ministers and governors, have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce a decree that anyone who prays to any god or man for 30 days other than you O king, will be cast into the lions’ den. 9 Now, O king, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it may not be altered, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” 10 Thereupon King Darius issued the written decree. 11 Now when Daniel learned that a written decree had been issued, he went into his house, where the windows in his upper room opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he knelt down, prayed and gave thanks before his God, just as he did before. 12 Then these men came as a group and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. 13 So they approached the king and spoke to him about the royal decree: “Didn’t you issue a written decree that anyone who prays to any god or man for 30 days—except for you, O king—shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king replied, “The decree stands, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” 14 Then they answered and said to the king: “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the decree that you put in writing. He still prays three times a day!” 15 When the king heard this report, he was deeply distressed, and he set his mind on how he might rescue Daniel. Until sunset he struggled to find a way to save him.
16 Then these men came as a throng in to the king, and said to the king: “Remember, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no decree or edict which the king issues may be altered.” 17 So the king gave the order and Daniel was brought and thrown into the lions’ den. Now the king spoke to Daniel saying, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!”
18 A stone was brought to block the mouth of the den. The king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signet of his nobles, so that nothing could be changed regarding Daniel. 19 Then the king went to his palace and passed the night fasting—no entertainment was brought before him. He was unable to sleep.
20 At dawn the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 21 As he reached the den, he cried out to Daniel with a voice of anguish. The king spoke out to Daniel saying: “Daniel, servant of the LIVING GOD, was your God, whom you serve continually, able to rescue you from the lions?”
22 Daniel spoke to the king: “May the king live forever! 23 My God sent His angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they haven’t harmed me, because I was found innocent before Him. Nor have I committed any crime against you, O king.” 24 Then the king was overjoyed, and ordered Daniel taken up out of the den. So Daniel was lifted out of the pit. No injury of any kind was found on him BECAUSE he had trusted in his God.
25 At the king’s command, those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and thrown into the lions’ den—they, their children, and their wives. They had not even reached the bottom of the pit before the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.
26 Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages dwelling in all the earth: “May your peace be abundant! 27 I issue a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom people are to tremble with fear before the God of Daniel. “For He is THE LIVING GOD, enduring forever! His kingdom will never be destroyed, His dominion will never end. 28 He delivers and rescues. He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth. He has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions! 29 So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
- Daniel was once again promoted to one of the top positions in the kingdom, but his companions were jealous. They made a plot to get rid of him.
- Daniel was a FAITHFUL, TRUE WORSHIPER! He continued to WORSHIP GOD!
- As a result, the king threw him into a den of hungry lions.
- The true and living God whom He served and worshiped him protected him because he trusted Him.
- When his persecutors and accusers were thrown into the lions den, they were devoured before they even could reach the bottom of the pit!
- The king made a proclamation to fear before the LIVING GOD! … and Daniel continued to prosper…
Dagon – THE Philistines idolatrous god
I Samuel 5:1-12 – Now the Philistines had taken the ark of God and they brought it from Eben-ezer to Ashdod. 2 The Philistines took the ark of God and brought it to the temple of Dagon, and placed it beside Dagon. 3 But when the Ashdodites arose early next morning, to everyone’s surprise, Dagon had fallen to his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD. So they took Dagon up and put him back in his place. 4 But when they arose early the following morning, surprisingly, Dagon had fallen to his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD, and the head of Dagon and both palms of his hands were cut off on the threshold; only Dagon’s trunk was left on him.
6 Then the hand of the LORD was heavy upon the Ashdodites, ravaging them and afflicting Ashdod and its vicinity with tumors. 7 When the men of Ashdod saw what was happening they said, “The ark of the God of Israel must not stay with us, for His hand has dealt harshly against us as well as against our god DAGON.”……11 For a panic of death was throughout the entire city, as God’s hand was very heavy there. 12 The people who did not die were afflicted with tumors, so that the outcry of the city went up to heaven.
- The Philistines idolatrous god, Dagon, was humbled before the ark of God – supernaturally, and miraculously his hands and head were cut off! Only his trunk remained.
- He was put to the worse before the Lord! God’s judgment was poured out on the false worshipers!
OMBU TREE – ARGENTINA
Ombu Tree Story (Continued story from last post) — The Ombu tree of Argentina is a massive, gigantic tree!
CASEROS, ARGENTINA (Story told by Dick Eastman – Director of Every Home For Christ (EHFC) (1)
A team of worshiping intercessors prayer-walked through neighborhoods of their city, Caseros, in Argentina – declaring God’s praises over the homes, and praying for them. Caseros had a strong presence of Satanic cults. (Reportedly, for every evangelical church there was 5 or 6 satanic worship centers.) The teams presented the gospel in their language, and gave out invitations to watch a presentation of the Jesus film in their language.
After door-to-door evangelism was completed, the Jesus Film was shown in the public square. The large screen was set up beneath a huge 200 year-old Ombu tree (a treasured historic site in their community). At the conclusion of the Jesus film, over 100 people prayed to receive the Lord.
Showing the Jesus film under the huge ombu tree was significant because for a long time this had been the site of area-wide satanic worship gathering every week. They would bring sacrifices to Satan there. Sharing and proclaiming the gospel in this particular place brought spiritual confrontation, which became apparent in the days immediately following the film showing.
Several days later, without apparently any plausible (reasonable) explanation, the 200-year old Ombu tree mysteriously “exploded” and split in half, falling to the ground. The noise was heard many blocks away. When the fallen tree was examined, it had no visible disease, nor was there any bad weather at the time, or lightning that might account for this strange occurrence. It was obvious to the believers in that campaign that it was an act of God! Like we mentioned last week, according to google the Ombu tree is classified as one of the toughest trees in the world!
Why did it fall at that time? Obviously the gigantic tree had fallen as a result of spiritual warfare against the powers of darkness…! But that’s not the end of the story… God was not finished yet. The believers were to see another miraculous sign of the power of their intercessory WORSHIP over Caseros.
The story continues…
A month later following the 1st explosion, another explosion occurred – at the exact site where the Ombu tree once stood. This time, the roots of the Ombu tree exploded under the ground!
It was learned that immediately after the 1st explosion one of the satanic leaders in Caseros had admonished his followers to go to the site of the fallen Ombu tree and dig up some of its roots so that the original tree – sacred to the Satanists, might be replanted and regrown, in this way establishing a new point of worship for their cult.
A woman in the satanic cult had responded, and was collecting roots at the time of the 2nd explosion. As she lay on the ground, severely injured, waiting for an ambulance, a television crew from a national TV network in Argentina came and filmed what had happened. The story was televised that night across the region.
The news report showed the lady being rushed to the hospital, where she lay in a grave, serious condition. At first it was thought that she might not survive. Her neighbor, a committed Christian recognized the injured woman from the television report, and decided to visit her at the hospital.
In an amazing turn of events, this Satanist woman who had attempted to dig us the roots of the Ombu tree prayed to receive Christ as Savior and totally renounced all ties to the satanic cult. Soon, many others received Christ in the city of Caseros!
Following the 2 explosions, there were other interesting testimonials from churches in Caseros. One of the churches reported that for many years it was common to find parts of sacrificed animals on their church doorstep on Sunday mornings. But after the 2nd explosion of the old Ombu tree, those occurrences abruptly stopped.
LIFE LESSONS (Personal application…)
God sees our hearts! Those that determine to please the Lord and be true FAITHFUL WORSHIPERS are greatly blessed! False worshipers will be destroyed! God is with those who are willing to be FAITHFUL WORSHIPERS. He promises to protect them, deliver them, and honor them.
- Special acknowledgment and and thanks to Dick Eastman for the Ombu tree story; “Heights of Delight”, Regal Publishing; 2002; pages 42-47