Monday, January 24, 2011

Worship vs. Obeisance

Question: What is the difference between worship and obeisance? They come from the same Greek word proskuneo. In Acts10: 24-26, Peter refuses obeisance because "he too is a man". He must have known the truth and felt that he was being worshipped.

Answer: Hello Timothy,

"Love" is a very general word, is it not? It is an umbrella over many other activities, words, and feelings. Under this word may be sacrifice, longing, warmth, generosity, loyalty, etc.

It is the same way with the word "worship". "Worship" is the umbrella word that covers all the
forms that worship may take: Sacrifice, devotion, submission, honor, obedience, duty, seeking approval of, etc.

Although these two words (worship, obeisance) are brothers, we do see how one is an umbrella to the other. Obeisance is the form of worship that contains the action of obedience. Clearly knowing the place of obedience in our worship is vital.

Just as police ideally represent the Law of the Land and as such we rightly obey them; we obey them because of their being representatives of that Law's authority. We do not obey them because they don a uniform and command it. For any man can do that.

We obey them because we recognize their authority as being backed by the Law. If these very men would break the Law, get fired, and cease being true representatives of it; our obligation to obey them would cease. For it was only the Law that gave them their previous authority. The authority was not innate within the men themselves.

In the same way with our worship, we should not worship men by obeying those who stand on their own authority. We are only to give that form of worship to God himself. Only God has the authority to command either obedience (obeisance) or worship. However, if men are presenting God's Laws in truth, then we are under obligation to obey God's Law. In this case, we would be in harmony with those presenting it.

We would naturally be in harmony with those who ask such obedience to God from us. By heeding such men, we are obeying God and therefore, our obedience and worship is going to God; even though we are heeding the direction of both God and the men who speak in harmony with God. We recognize the authority of the Law as represented in those men.

So although we may obey God and the men who represent him, at the same time; we are never obeying men independent of God. To avoid this serious mistake, we must always make certain that all we obey is from God and not men.

For as with the police, any authority to direct must be based on the authority of God. Otherwise if we obey those without Law, we are worshiping men.

Romans 6:16 "Do YOU not know that if YOU keep presenting yourselves to anyone as slaves to obey him, YOU are slaves of him because YOU obey him, either of sin with death in view or of obedience with righteousness in view?

We clearly see here that we become slaves to those whom we obey. Our only Masters must be God and Christ. It says that obeying (slaving) for anyone else is a sin (with death in view).

Please consider the following scriptures:
1 Corinthians 7:23 "YOU were bought with a price; stop becoming slaves of men.”

Galatians 1:10 Is it, in fact, men I am now trying to persuade or God? Or am I seeking to please men? If I were yet pleasing men, I would not be Christ’s slave. (So not only obeying men is wrong...even seeking to please them, is.)

Colossians 3:24 "for YOU know that it is from Jehovah YOU will receive the due reward of the inheritance. SLAVE for the Master, Christ.”

Do men have the power to give everlasting life or immortality? Some of them think they do! (and they expect others to act [and worship] accordingly)

Any true worshiper of God would never expect the obedience of others for themselves. They would only hope that others would show their obedience to God, his Word, and his Laws.

Question: Hi Sister Pearl,

Are you an active Jehovah's Witnesses? Are you really a Regular Pioneer? Reason I'm asking is because from your previous response you are sounding as a person who is against the Governing Body or Watchtower or Faithful & Discreet Slave.

Answer: Hello,

Yes I am and have been an active "Jehovah's Witness" since 1985. Previous to that I was studying with them, and also preaching since my anointing in 1975. I’m also a regular pioneer, and before that was a regular auxiliary. I am have been partaking for a number of years.

When I think of myself as a "witness", this means to me is that I am an active Witness for Jehovah God. Like Jesus, I do not attach my work and loyalty for Jehovah, to my loyalty or work for men or their organization. God has told us in the scriptures who and what His administration is, and it is not the WTBTS (Eph.1:9,10,11,12). The organization refers to itself as "God's visible mountain-like organization", but this is not scriptural. God's organization is a spiritual Temple, made of anointed stones (1Pet.2:5; 1Cor.3:16; Eph.2:20,21,22) filled with God's spirit and Truth. God's "mountain" is "Zion", consisting of the same group 
(Rev.14:1; Isa.2:2,3).

We can be sure that Jehovah is loyal, true, and just..."perfect in His activity" (Deut.32:4). Unlike the changing doctrines of men, God never misleads (Matt.15:9; Rom.3:4). So too His faithful anointed (Rev.14:5). In speaking of men, the Bible says "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom.3:23). Noting this difference between God and men, why are you perplexed that a person can actively serve our loving Father with all their strength and yet avoid worshiping men? (Mark12:30). In fact, we must do both these things (worship God in spirit and truth/do not worship men), if we are to be truly loyal to God. (John4:24; Matt.4:10; Deut.11:16).

(Luke10:27-28) "In answer Jesus said: ‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole strength and with your whole mind,’.

I am not against anyone. Yet God is against any who are against Him. It is against God to attach
his worship to men. There are many scriptures that make this clear. We must not be deceived into believing that pleasing men and pleasing God are the same thing.

"If I were yet pleasing men, I would not be Christ's slave." (Gal.1:10)

If the scriptures reveal that God is against those who are breaking this Law of proper worship, then as an anointed one, I am obliged to warn them and others not to follow after and seek to please such ones (Eze.3:17-20).

This is not the only Law of God that these ones are breaking and yet will break (according to prophecy).

Even in calling themselves "the faithful and discreet slave", they offend the Master.

Only Jesus has the right to give a slave this title (Matt.25:21). "His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things. I will appoint you over many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’

No anointed one should claim it for themselves (Luke17:10)."So YOU, also, when YOU have done all the things assigned to YOU, say, ‘We are good-for-nothing slaves. What we have done is what we ought to have done.’”

Each and every anointed one is expected to be faithful and discreet - not just the Governing Body.
When Christ returns, it is then that he will call his slaves into account and decide who was faithful. This has not yet occurred. (see 1Cor.11:26)
"For as often as YOU eat this loaf and drink this cup, YOU keep proclaiming the death of the Lord, until he arrives".  Are we not still doing the Memorial? Then according to this verse, Christ has not yet arrived to reward his slaves. They are still under test.

Do we dare go ahead of Christ, force his hand, and decide who is faithful for him? Do we dare take this title for ourselves, before he has given it to us?

Jesus told us to examine the fruits of those who claim to be anointed before we eat all they offer us (1John4:1; 2Cor.13:3). I hope you take your time doing this. The fact that the organization currently holds many of Jehovah's anointed household within it, does not mean that the slaves within it are "faithful and discreet". 
(2Cor.5:10; Matt.16:27; Rom.14:12; Eph.6:8; Luke21:36)
Many assume that the "fruits" we are to seek out in who we examine, are the fruitages of the spirit (Gal.5:22,23). Not so, although these are significant. The "fruits" Jesus was referring to (Matt.7:20) were teachings. These are what we need to examine, to determine whether or not a prophet/teacher/Chosen one, is faithful and true.
To examine the scriptures to prove that "fruits" are teachings, please consider

Israel was Jehovah's people, but not all of Israel's Kings were faithful. In fact, few proved to be. Do not confuse Jehovah's unfailing purpose as proof of the fruitage of men. Seeing Jehovah's will being done is not proof that an individual leader is faithful. We must examine their fruits as individuals (Matt. 7:20; John8:47; 7:17,18,16). In helping you to do this, I have included some articles.

If you would like to read about this and examine what the scriptures have to say, I suggest you go to:

You can also consider:


Jesus helped us to keep a balanced perspective when deciding to obey men.
Of all men, Jesus would be the foremost one to obey. Yet it may surprise you that Jesus did not ask for absolute obedience. If this is so, then certainly, men should not expect absolute obedience either.
If we examine the basis for obedience Christ does request of his followers,
then we can have clarity about the basis for obedience, we may rightly seek and accept, toward certain men.
Although it may not seem to be related, I am going to now post a question I received about John12:47-48. Within my reply, the kind of obedience we display toward those who are genuine under-priests of Christ, may be clarified (Mal.2:7; Rev.5:9-10; Heb.2:17; 10:21; 3:6).

 I have been reading John & a passage in it is some what perplexing me as to what Jesus was actually meaning. He is saying that He will not judge those who hear Him but do not obey, yet He also says that those who reject Him will be judged? Surely if you hear His words & do not obey them or at least try to obey them are you not disobeying/rejecting Him & His teachings?
John 12:47-48

Jesus did not say "obey". .
He said, "believing".
If you don't grasp that, perhaps you could look at the Greek (LINK).

It would also help to consider the context of John, chapter 12, to know what Jesus meant by "not judging the world".
But there are a few points to make first, so that the context is understood.

    [If you have read the recent Blog Post, you know that the "world" in John 
     chapter 12, was the Jewish "system" of religion (again, check the Greek of John12:47). 
     Remember, that these are the ones God sent Jesus to (John3:17; 1:11;   
     Matt.15:24)...  to save them as a nation due to their leaving God 
     (Matt.15:24; John1:11; Acts 13:24).]

When Jesus said, "And if any man hear my words, and believe not", it helps to consult the context to know whom he is referring to (verses 36-43), and why they believe or don't believe...
36 Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.
37 Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 
38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet:
“Lord, who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:
40 “He has blinded their eyes
    and hardened their hearts, (This is the same as 2Thess.2:11)
so they can neither see with their eyes,
    nor understand with their hearts,
    nor turn—and I would heal them.”
41 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.
42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved human praise more than praise from God.

So we see two groups OF JEWS being portrayed... JEWs who would not believe, and JEWS who did believe, but were unwilling to profess/confess, him (John12:17,19,37).  Both groups were deficient before God, because God's spirit had empowered Christ to perform miracles/works of God.
At John 10:37-38 Jesus said;
"If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father."
("The father in me", as meaning, God's spirit in him  -1Cor.3:16; John17:21,23; 14:23)
That ties in with John 14:11 and John7:31, 
and John12:44-45 and John12:49-50...
44 Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45 The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me. 49 For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”

Can you see from those words, that God empowered Jesus to display works that would prove that Christ's teachings were from God?

So to get to the point....
Was it Jesus who personally judged or saved the Jewish nation? 
Or, was it the words of God?

Jesus made the answer clear, when he said; "48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. "
it was God's message that would be the "measuring line" stretched over Jerusalem, to measure it's righteousness and it's sins. It was not the person of Jesus Christ, who even refused to take it upon himself to condemn the Devil (Jude 1:9). Also, when the wicked revile God's messengers, the angel/messengers do not accuse such blasphemers (Rev.13:6; 2Thess.2:4,9; Rev.13:4), 
but the angels limit their message to the condemnation from God, which they have been sent as messengers, to declare 
(2Pet.2:10-12; Rev.11:3,5; Jer.23:29; Hosea6:5).

This goes along with the most recent post about "loving our enemies". Within that post, the distinction between condemning others, and declaring God's condemnation, is clarified.
That is exactly what Jesus was explaining, at John12:47-48. 
The whole point, is that it is not as you ask... 
"are you not disobeying/rejecting Him & His teachings?"
....It is rejecting the word of God via spirit, which Christ and his brothers, merely convey. (Rev.3:14; Matt.10:20)
On the basis of the word of God, opposers are judged... because they reject the words of God... not because they reject the person of Jesus.

This is why Jesus DID preach obedience to his words (which were from God)...
"For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken." (John12:49)
"Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching (from God). My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them." (John14:23)
(Yet John12:47 does not say "obey", it says "believe".)
The whole point of Christ's miracles, was so that people could, believe... believe that all of his words truly were, from God (John 10:37-38; 14:11; 1John5:9).
When they obeyed what Jesus taught from God, they were heeding the words of God (John 12:49). Jesus wanted to make that clear, as do all his faithful brothers.

You also make this quote...
"He also says that those who reject Him will be judged"
He says;  There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept MY WORDS; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day.
Those judged, are on the basis of Christ's message from God,
not on their rejection of Christ.
I am hoping you see that difference, which Christ spoke so often about, so that we could understand this point.

Jesus came to bring a message from God, to the Jewish nation, to save them from their sins and from death. He did this by his own obedience to God's words (Phil.2:8; Heb.10:9).
It was his message from God that had saving power... not Jesus as a person.
A little flock of Jews, accepted Christ, through their acceptance of his teachings, and so, received those blessings (Luke12:32; Rom.9:27).
Yet they received them, not because they liked and welcomed Jesus as a person,
but because they feared the word of God, coming from Christ's mouth, as God's messenger/Archangel.

It is helpful to read John12:47-48, with verse 49...
"47 If anyone hears My words and doesn’t keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects Me (How?)>>>and doesn’t accept My sayings, has this as his judge: The word I have spoken will judge him on the last day. ****49 For I have not spoken on My own, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a command as to what I should say and what I should speak."****
It also helps to remember Luke12:10...
"And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven."
Who empowered Jesus to perform the miracles which testified, that Christ was a messenger of God?
Who empowered Jesus to speak God's words?
Was it not Holy Spirit?
Once again we see, that it is not obeying or rejecting Christ that matters...
It is obeying God's spirit from his mouth (John20:22)... the word of God (Rev.1:16; Eph.6:17; Heb.4:12-13).

I am hoping you see the difference between those who believe and those who obey (see Greek),
as well as the difference between obeying and accepting Christ, 
or obeying and accepting the word of God, through Christ. 

We can apply this to any who claim to be a spokesman of God.
Do they speak the words of God, or their own words?
(John 7:16-18; 16:13; 14:26; 15:26; Acts5:32) 
God bears witness about his genuine representatives (Isa.44:1-3,23,26).
(1John 5:6-8 -- John7:37-39; Rev.22:17; 6:9-10; 18:24; Matt.10:20; 1Cor.2:4,13; Eph.6:17; 1Thess.1:5; Heb.4:12; Rev.22:6)

If you do see the difference between obeying men, and obeying God's word through men (including Christ), then you may have your answer about John12:47-48.
Please let me know.
Love in Christ,