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Mike Shreve was a teacher of yoga at four universities. (The portrait above was drawn by one of his students in 1970.) Then a spiritual rebirth brought him into a real relationship with God and drastically changed his heart, his life and his belief system.  Read his story here.

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Site Completed–10/15/01
Major Revision—5/28/03
Last Updated–03/19/09

The True Light Project
P.O. Box 4260
Cleveland, TN 37320
Phone: (423) 478-2843
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©2002 copyright
Mike Shreve.
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Are adherents of all world religions actually worshipping the same God?

First of all, not all world religions acknowledge a “Supreme Being” and some misconstrue Ultimate Reality to be an impersonal force, which does not interact with worshippers, instead of a personal Creator who does. Concerning those who believe in a personal Creator, the answer to the posed question would have to be, “Maybe at times, but not often and not  really.” Admittedly, that sounds vague, but let me explain. All non-Christians who venerate the “Creator,” all who express adoration toward the “Maker of all things” may, at times, in a very general sense, be attempting to worship the one and only God of heaven. The American  Indian who praises the Great Spirit, the Hindu who acknowledges Brahman,  the Muslim who worships Allah, the Sikh who sings songs of devotion to Akal Purakh (Timeless Being) and the Zoroastrian who honors Ahura Mazda (the Wise Lord) are all generating devotion toward the One they consider to be the Supreme Power of the universe. They may even “generically” cry out, “O God, help me!” or “O God I adore you,” inclining  their hearts toward the Almighty without using a wrongly applied name.  However, in cases like this, in their minds, they are probably still associating  their prayerful cry with erroneous interpretations of God's character and/or name. This in itself would block them from a real connection with the true and living God.

It is very important to note that all of these supposed 'Supreme Beings' are not literally and specifically the same God, since the personality, attributes and names of each “God” are quite different than the others.  However, in a very broad sense, when men cry out to the Creator, their “gaze” may be in the same general direction. Christians are worshipping God with understanding; others are worshipping without understanding, but in many cases, all are worshipping. I believe that even when a person is ignorant of the true nature of Ultimate Reality, genuine love toward God does not go unnoticed in heaven.

The essentially important difference is this: even though the devotees and believers of these various religions are all generating worship toward God, except for the Christian believer, they cannot be in actual communion with God. In Acts 10, we find Cornelius, a centurion, who worshipped God in sincerity, but he was unaware of how to be in true communion with God—so God sent an angel to him instructing him to call for Peter.

The apostle came and preached, and the Holy Spirit fell from heaven on those who gathered. God did not affirm that Cornelius' previous approach was sufficient, but because he had true love for God, the Lord revealed to him the correct means of salvation.

In a similar way, I was a sincere lover of God before I knew him and experienced union with him. I was a “worshipper” of God long before I became a “true worshipper.” Jesus explained this mystery to a Samaritan woman many years ago in words that are still profound. He bluntly pointed out, “You worship what you do not know,” but then he added: 

…the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” (John 4:22–23)

Worshipping in spirit—In this era, to be a true worshipper of God, a person must first have a regenerated spirit. The biblical view is that man is a triune being: body, soul and spirit. (See 1 Thessalonians 5:23.) The body and soul are the primary functioning parts in ordinary human beings who have not been 'saved.' Human beings are “dead in trespasses and sins”—rendering the spirit nearly non-functional. (Ephesians 2:1) (See “Christianity” under The Origin and Nature of Man.

The human spirit is 'saved' or regenerated only through the experience of being washed in the blood of Jesus and born again. Only  after this 'rebirth' of the inner man can a worshipper truly contact the true and living God, for only then does the Spirit of God dwell within. The Holy Spirit that flows into born-again believers, then flows out of them, back to the Father, in the form of worship. Devotees of other religions may be very religious, saintly, loving, humble and even powerful in supernatural ways, but this necessary facet of true salvation is still missing.

Worshipping in truth—There are five aspects to fulfilling this requirement. Worshipping God “in truth” involves worshipping the Most High: (1) In sincerity; (2) In honesty; (3) With correct methods; (4) By embracing the true revelation of his name and nature; (5) By walking in the truth of the Bible and applying the truth to our day-to-day lives.

As a yoga teacher I passed on the first two points, but missed the last three. I was sincere. I was honest with God. But I used non-Biblical methods in trying to reach God. I loved God intensely. But I never experienced true communion with the Father—until I approached him using those methods endorsed in the Bible and until I came to him with the true revelation of his name and nature. When I fulfilled these requirements, I was granted access into his presence. It is not enough to be “worshippers”; we must be “true worshippers”—if we are to know the true God and enjoy a true relationship with him.

"In Search of the True Light" ©2002 copyright by Mike Shreve.
All articles unless otherwise noted are copyright by Mike Shreve.
Personal Stories are the work of the individuals.
All Rights Reserved.

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