(Go To Meeting)

Steve Durham—April 9, 2022

pdficon small - PDF | Audio | [Up]

Track 1 or Download

We are four days away from Passover! It's amazing how quickly things come around. Here we are at Passover once again. We've had many fine messages in CBCG preparing us and getting us ready.

In 2-Cor. it talks about examining ourselves and also about getting the leavening out of our lives, getting the sin out of our lives. It's something we should be doing daily, but especially at this time of year.

I had a situation that came just recently and it's been on my mind, and I wanted to talk to you about it, and go into detail about it later, but it has to do with foot-washing. I know that it is something that can get pushed back into the background sometimes, especially in the world. But also in the Churches of God it seems to take second place or a backseat to the wine and the bread. The question I had when this came up was:

  • How important is the foot-washing?
  • How does God look at it?

It's an important New Covenant ordinance!

Christ instituted the foot-washing and it has a lot of meaning and is very important for us. This is my 52nd year of Passover and I'm just beginning to really understand the depth of understanding and importance, and the broad overall purpose of the foot-washing and how it ties into the bread and the wine.

Hopefully, by the end of this message I have a little bit more of an overall view of what Passover should mean to us and why Christ instituted it.

  • Can anyone participate in the foot-washing?
  • Is the foot-washing even important?
  • Should we do away with it as the world has done?
  • What do people say about it?
  • Are we obeying God when we don't do the Passover?
  • When we neglect it?
  • Water it down?
  • What does God want us to do from an obedience standpoint?

What I want to talk about in addition to that is that it led me to think over my life—in our lives—as we walk this path, walk this way, this Christian life that we have in Christ.

  • Am I doing it myway?

Frank Sinatra sang a song—I Did it My Way—that he did his way.

  • Are we obeying God?

or

  • Are we doing the things that He gives us to do our way?
  • Is that important?

or

  • Is it not important?
  • How should we do that?
  • Should we strict adherence to the Laws of God?
  • To the ordinances of God?

or

  • Are we allowed to just think that we have a better way? I think I'll do it this way!
  • How does God look at that?

This is all tied into the foot-washing!

IF we don't do it the way that Christ says—exactly the way Christ says—we can be in danger of losing out, and not having a part with Christ! That's how important it is. That's how Christ looks at it.

This is what He does; He ties our part with Him—or lot and part with Him—symbolically with the foot-washing. So, it's very important!

We've heard about the leaven of the Pharisees—hypocrisy—which can raise it's ugly head in several different ways. The definition is:

  • a pretense of having a virtuous character
  • a pretense of having Godly character
  • having moral or religious beliefs and principles

But you don't really have them!

  • the practice of professing beliefs, feelings or virtues that one does not hold or possess
    • it's a falseness
    • it can be self-deception
    • it can be self-righteousness
    • it can manifest itself in deception and lies

What does that have to do with the foot-washing? All the things that kind of popped up there during this experience that I had recently!

  • Are we worshipping God our own way?
  • Are we doing things the way we want to do them?
  • Not the way that God tells us to do?
  • And it's okay to do that?

When we do that, we're telling God:

Don't tell me what to do! I know what's best. Who do You think you are to tell me what to do!

And in effect we're telling God that!

That was the way that Cain started. The way of Cain is that he offered and offering his way! When God called him on it, he got upset to the point of actually murdering his brother, taking it to the extreme! Then he got upset when he was put out and didn't have a part with the rest of society. The same thing can happen to us in the foot-washing when we observe the foot-washing improperly irreverently, or incorrectly losing part with Christ!

I did a little research on what the world's Christianity thinks about foot-washing. Is it important to them? Also, in the last few years—I'd say 30 years—in my experience the Churches of God have somewhat—not all of them—watered down the foot-washing. I say that with a broad brush. There are situations where that is true and where other people adhere to it the way they should and the way God wants them to.

But we run into danger if we don't pay attention to this and think about it. We run the danger of watering it down and doing it incorrectly. Another way of being unworthy to take the Passover.

We think of the bread and the wine, but what about what if you do the foot-washing wrong? Is that part of it, too? It's a small item in a lot of ways, but it's a very large item and has a lot to do with our Christian lives.

A few examples that I ran across:

adventiststoday.orgFoot Washing: an Irrelevant and Antiquated Ritual?
by Cindy Tutsch

They say foot-washing is a 'convention' not a command, not important they say.

They encourage their listeners to write in and give their ideas, and then they say they will have a discussion on it and figure out what it is that they need to do with foot-washing.

Already, they are going to decide what needs to be done with foot-washing, and you really don't need to do it.

Letters from Paul [no specific website found] says that foot-washing is for the Jews. That Paul brought in grace and the rest of the Bible is for the Jews.

An interesting understanding, idea or opinion!

Four or five of them said that it was for the culture of that day, and in Jesus' time the roads were dirty and dusty and people wore sandals. So, the custom was to wash feet because it needed to be done. But today we have shoes and paved roads, so there's really no requirement for foot-washing. Anyway, it was done by a lowly house-servant, and we're just not required to wash feet.

Beliefnet.comThe Real Meaning of Foot Washing for Christians
{https://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/christianity/articles/the-real-meaning-of-foot-washing-for-christians.aspx}

They say no, and their explanation is you can show humility and love—which they say the foot-washing represents in many other ways. You don't need to wash feet to do that. You can engage in random acts of kindness:

  • leave flowers a friend's doorstep
  • call someone to check on how they're doing
  • bring a new person to church
  • share words of love and appreciation

That's showing love and humility

Their understanding of foot-washing is to care for one another; that's what it symbolizes. So, if you care for one another and you emulate Jesus in everything you do, as long as your emotions behind the act are genuine and sincere, that will replace the ordinance of foot-washing in modern-day Christianity. Today, in their idea and mind, it's not necessary.

Is this acceptable with God? When it comes to obedience to God and God's Word, and

  • understanding comes through obedience
  • grace and knowledge comes through obedience

Genesis 26:5: "Because Abraham obeyed My voice…"

Look at the blessing that were given to us through him. God knows best, and God loves us, and we obey God because we love Him! But He loved us first!

It's interesting that the last article that I read used the word ordinance:

An authentic decree or direction, a law set forth by governmental authority or by Deity.'

Of course, that's God! A Law set forth by God!

A prescribed usage, practice or ceremony.

That's an ordinance!

What I want to emphasize the fact that God wants us to do the foot-washing His way, without an embellishment, not adding to or taking away; do it His way! Not only with the foot-washing, but all through our lives.

The Laws that He gives us are not the Ten Suggestions. They are commandments for a reason and are to be adhered to. They are laws of love; God is love!

We don't know what's best for us. He does because He created and made us! He gives us the manual, the way to happiness and to follow Him and please Him.

John 8:29: "…because I always do the things that please Him."

Christ pleased the Father in everything He did! He didn't do His own will! He did the Father's will; His meet was to do what God had sent Him to do. Christ had the mind of the Father and was one with Him.

We are to be one with Christ and the Father (John 17). We're to have His mind, and the only way we can do that is to listen, obey and do exactly what He tells us to do. As we do that, we grow in understanding and begin to see that what He says is right and good. It brings happiness and peace and joy. Jesus said, 'My peace I leave with you.' He talks about joy, that within that peace is joy and all the fruits of the Spirit.

It's interesting that John is the only Gospel where foot-washing is mentioned. That's another thing that is said, 'Why isn't it all four Gospels?' God only has to say it once, and He puts it in John.

Let's read it and then we'll come back and see some of the things that are said, some lessons we can learn from foot-washing and see why it's so important and how it fits into our daily Christian walk. How we are in Christ, what it pictures for us as begotten sons/daughters of God in Christ walking with Him and developing Holy, righteous character.

John 13:1: "Now, before the Feast of the Passover, knowing that His time had come to depart from this world to the Father, Jesus, having loved His own who were in the world, loved them to the end. And during supper began (the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, that he should betray Him), Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments; and after taking a towel, He secured it around Himself. Next, He poured water into a washing basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel, which He had secured" (vs1-5). This is why we do what we do; we do exactly this!

Verse 6: "Then He came to Simon Peter; and he said to Him, 'Lord, are You going to wash my feet?'"

Think about the attitude in this. Peter had problems up to this point, but Christ had to tell him at one point, 'Get behind me, Satan, you don't know what spirit you are in.'

Peter had a problem with some things, so here he is again telling Christ, 'No, we're not going to do it that way. You're not going to wash my feet.'

Verse 7: "Jesus answered and said to him, 'What I am doing you do not understand now…'"

When the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost, then Peter understood. They got it.

"'…but you shall know after these things.' Peter said to Him, 'You shall not wash my feet, not ever.'…." (vs 7-8).

  • What spirit is that?
  • What attitude is that?

We can lay out several different descriptors that are not Godly fruits of the Spirit, but attitudes of Satan the devil; a disobedient attitude. Self-determination, that was Peter.

"…Jesus answered him, 'If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.' Simon Peter said to Him, 'Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head'" (vs 8-9).

That's a good thing about Peter, when he was corrected, he turned around quickly. But he had to be corrected often.

Verse 10: "Jesus said to him, 'The one who has been washed does not need to wash anything other than the feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all.'"

We will come back and see what that implies and what it is symbolic of and means.

  • Why can't just anyone can take the foot-washing?
  • Who is supposed to be part of that foot-washing? The one who has been washed!

Verse 11: "For He knew the one who was betraying Him; this was the reason He said, 'Not all of you are clean.' Therefore, when He had washed their feet, and had taken His garments, and had sat down again, He said to them, 'Do you know what I have done to you?'" (vs 11-12).

Of course, they didn't get it, and the Churches of God have been a long time in getting it, as well, and have forgotten some of it and watered it down somewhat. We haven't stayed strict and strictly obeyed and adhered to what Christ tells us. Some have gotten away from that. The world has gotten away from it completely!

Verse 13: "You call Me the Teacher and the Lord, and you speak rightly, because I am."

Another thing that the world will say, and we understand, too—and the obvious lesson—is that Christ came as a servant. In humility He washed their feet. He took the job of a servant and that is a very large part of the foot-washing. But there are a couple of other less obvious things that hold the foot-washing; the glue that holds our lives together in the things that we're to do so we can get to the point where we can live in Christ and have Christ living in us.

To follow Him through the bread and the wine, and discern the body properly, there's an attitude that has to take place. That's the attitude of foot-washing, not only of humility and servitude, but these other things:

  • obedience
  • having a part with Him
  • being clean

How are we clean? By putting out sin! Being unleavened and through baptism!

Verse 14: "Therefore, if I, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, you also are duty-bound to wash one another's feet; for I have given you an example… [1-Pet 2:21—we're to follow that example] …to show that you also should do exactly as I have done to you" (vs 14-15).

  • don't add
  • don't take away
  • don't embellish
  • don't have your own opinion
  • don't say you have a better way or not just do it at all

Verse 16: "Truly, truly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his lord, nor a messenger greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them" (vs 16-17).

If you don't do them, you're not blessed, or you run the chance of not being blessed. Actually, you run the chance of losing out on your calling.

The point it, Peter wanted to do his own thing! He didn't want to do it exactly as Christ said. He wanted to tell Christ how it was going to be.

  • Can you imagine that?
  • Do we do this?

We don't realize it, but we're actually telling Jesus Christ:

  • the Creator
  • the Lawgiver
  • the Life-giver
  • the Sustainer
  • the Provider
  • the Answerer of prayer
  • the Fulfiller or Prophecy
  • our High Priest
  • our Mediator
  • our Advocate
  • our Sacrifice
  • the Passover Lamb

We're telling Him how it's going to be! 'We're going to do it a different way. We don't have to do it this way. It's really amazing, and it's very arrogant when you think about it!

Verse 6: " Then He came to Simon Peter; and he said to Him, 'Lord, are You going to wash my feet?' Jesus answered and said to him, 'What I am doing you do not understand now, but you shall know after these things.' Peter said to Him, 'You shall not wash my feet, not ever.' Jesus answered him, 'If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me'" (vs 6-8).

So, if we do away with the foot-washing we run the chance—and very rightfully so—of not having a part with Christ.

Verse 9: "Simon Peter said to Him, 'Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.'" Think about these traits, they fit right in:

  • self-determined—doing it our own way
  • stubborn
  • proud
  • rebellious

We can see what stubbornness and rebellion are in 1-Samuel.

  • self-righteous—I'm better than that, I don't have to do that
  • self-deceived—self-deception is a horrible sin

Peter thought that he knew more than Christ and wanted to do it his own way. Christ had to tell him in other places:

  • 'Get behind me, Satan, you don't know what attitude you're in'

Christ had to correct him several times

  • 'You're going to deny Me three times.'

Peter had his trials and he came out of it very well. He repented deeply. But there are examples here for us as well.

Peter learned humility. We're not going to talk much about humility and service and being a servant. That's major in foot-washing, we understand that. I want to bring out the smaller point, which is a big point, that actually keeps us from our relationship with God and Jesus Christ, being one with Them.

Another place where we see the attitude of Peter, and the other 12 as well, is on the road to Jerusalem right before Passover. Matt. 20 notes an experience for the purpose of seeing these attitudes and what Christ has to tell us about them; another foot-washing lesson.

Matthew 20:20: "Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Him with her sons, worshiping Him and asking a certain thing from Him. And He said to her, 'What do you desire?' She said to Him, 'Grant that these my two sons may sit one at Your right hand and one at Your left hand in Your Kingdom'" (vs 20-21)—which they thought was coming, that He was going to establish and do away with the Roman government.

Here are these positions and they were scrambling for them, and sent mom over to talk to Christ.

Verse 22: "But Jesus answered and said, 'You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?' They said to Him, 'We are able.' And He said to them, 'You shall indeed drink of My cup, and shall be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit at My right hand and at My left hand is not Mine to give, but shall be given to those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.' And after hearing this, the ten were indignant against the two brothers" (vs 22-24).

You can just see the fight that went on! They wanted preeminence. They wanted to be the 'big cheese.' They were all scrambling for that.

Verse 25: "But Jesus called them to Him and said, 'You know that the rulers of the nations exercise lordship over them, and the great ones exercise authority over them. However, it shall not be this way among you; but whoever would become great among you, let him be your servant" (vs 25-26)

He's just getting ready to go in and have the foot-washing and the bread and the wine, New Covenant symbols.

Verse 27: "And whoever would be first among you, let him be your slave; just as the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many" (vs 27-28).

That was His purpose, one of the purposes, and He showed us that. He said that 'I'm lowly and tender and meek.' He wasn't as the kings of the world.

He is King, the Creator of the Universe before the foundation of the world. He came in the flesh as a man, was tempted by sin, overcame and lived a sinless life. He died for us as a sacrifice, shedding His blood for our redemption and the forgiveness of our sins. He was beaten, crucified, resurrected and came back for 40 days and went back to the Father. He now is our High Priest and our Advocate and Mediator.

He came as a servant, and foot-washing is full of meaning for us, that we need to spend more time on the foot-washing and what it means; doing it exactly as He said! Not casting it out, not allowing just anybody to do the foot-washing, and there's a reason for that.

  • Do we have the attitude of Peter? At times we do! We have to watch ourselves all the time!
  • Do I think I know what's best? Sometimes we have to check ourselves, as well!

Submit to God and put it in His hands and trust in Him and let Him take care of the problem and go on and do the things that He leads us to do. Trust in Him, not doing it our own way! Doing it the way the Scriptures tell us, not only the foot-washing but the laws, ordinances, statutes, the mind of Christ. Understanding that and then doing what is right. Doing what is pleasing to Him and the Father. Christ said:

I came to do the will of the Father. My meet is to do the will of My Father. I don't do any ting on My own.

This is the attitude of mind that we're to have if we are to be in covenant with Christ through the Passover: the bread and the wine andthe foot-washing. They go together! The feet are part of the body; the feet are what we walk on. That's how it gets us from one place to another. Christ was the Way to Life eternal!

I want to tell you what inspired this message: I was visiting someone at a church service—it was not CBCG—and I heard some things that were in error. You're sitting there and saying to yourself, 'Whoa! Wait a minute!' The flags pop up!

One of the things is they don't believe in the Pentecost resurrection; they believe Trumpets resurrection. We understand that there's a lot of that.

I'm not trying to put anyone down, it's just where we are in different stages. I'm sitting there in their congregation and listening and worshipping God and this is their thinking.

Another one that they mentioned was that 'we are adopted.' Not begotten sons of God. We are begotten through the Father; the begettal comes from the Father so that makes us sons not adopted. So, they didn't understand that.

The final one was that they made an announcement that there was to be a Bible Study class with another very liberal, progressive, ecumenical Sabbath-keeping group, and they were encouraged to go to it. The guy at the top was encouraging the membership to go visit these people, because they're 'nice people.'

The last thing I heard was that anyone who wanted to come to the Passover and if they wanted to sit in on the foot-washing that they were more than welcome. Anyone who wanted to could go and partake of the foot-washing, and that would be acceptable.

My question, my thoughts afterward, I had this uneasy feeling:

  • Did they understand that these things were incorrect?

or

  • Did they just knowingly agree to them and do them?

If so

  • Did they agree and comply in error because they didn't want to 'rock the boat'?

Maybe they didn't want lose anyone, or maybe they had a position that they didn't want to lose it. Or maybe they thought by saying something they would cause the majority of the members to feel uncomfortable and leave, and then they would lose numbers. So, they became tolerant and compromised in these areas.

Those were the thoughts that I had. I don't know if any of that's true, but I knew that I couldn't be there. I'm going to read what Paul said; this thought came to my mind:

Galatians 1:6[transcriber's correction]: "I am astonished that you are so quickly being turned away from Him Who called you into the grace of Christ, to a different gospel."

Sitting there we think we're all on the same page, having the same mind and understand the same things. Anything that is not exactly what God is teaching is a different gospel. We are told to be like the Bereans, we're to check things out to see if these things are so. 'We're to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good.'

1-Peter 1 says that all Scripture is given by God is not of our own private interpretation. It's given by Holy men and they spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

That's what we're told; we're to check it out and through the Holy Spirit within us discern what the Truth is and be taught! Check it out! It doesn't matter who is giving it. May of us have been at this a long time and we've seen a lot men come and go. The seem to be right and then they, for some reason, got off and they left, and lot of people followed them.

So, each individual has to work out their own salvation, check the Scriptures out and check against what we know and allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you and discern whether that is right or not. Of course, there's a lot of study that goes with that.

Don't be led away to a different gospel. When we get off of what God says and follow someone else, or what a man says that contradicts the strict meaning and intent of the Scripture, we can lose our way. We can lose our part with Christ and it's serious.

I'm going to show you that the foot-washing is to be done by those who have been baptized! There's an indicator within what Christ says that shows us that.

  • Can anyone come in and do that?
  • Is it okay?
  • Is it pleasing to God and Christ?
  • Is that what They intended?
  • NO! it's not!

Verse 7: "Which in reality is not another Gospel; but there are some who are troubling you and are desiring to pervert the Gospel of Christ. But if we, or even an angel from heaven, should preach a gospel to you that is contrary to what we have preached, LET HIM BE ACCURSED! As we have said before, I also now say again. If anyone is preaching a gospel contrary to what you have received, LET HIM BE ACCURSED!" (vs 7-9).

Those aren't my words! Paul gave them; Christ inspired those words!

Verse 10: "Now then, am I striving to please men, or God?…."

  • What are we doing?
  • What am I doing?
  • Do I stand for what God says even though it's not popular or will get me 'in trouble' with someone?
  • Do I worry about that?

OR

  • Do I worry about the fact that I have to stand before Christ some day and answer for what I say and do?

That's important to me! That's very important, to the point that I would give my life for that! I'm not going to waver on that!

  • Are we going to be strict in our obedience to what Christ tells us?

OR

  • Are we going to do it our own way?

He's watching and wanting to know what we are going to do!

Verse 10: "Now then, am I striving to please men, or God? Or am I motivated to please men? For if I am yet pleasing men, I would not be a servant of Christ." Foot-washing!

Verse 11: "But I certify to you, brethren, that the Gospel that was preached by me is not according to man; because neither did I receive it from man, nor was I taught it by man; rather, it was by the revelation of Jesus Christ" (vs 11-12).

Remember that it's not by private interpretation, but it comes from God!

God expects us to do exactly what He says when He says and how He says to do it. Foot-washing is no different!

  • What should I have done?
  • What will I do in the future when I hear someone teaching another gospel?
  • Does God expect me to stick around and be there because there's no one else in the area to fellowship with?
  • Am I going to be there because there are people there?

Well, I have a choice to make!

  • Can I continue to stay strong in the faith while I'm listening to and fellowshipping in error?

2-John 8: "Watch out for yourselves in order that we may not lose the things we have accomplished, but that we may receive a full reward."

Eternal life is at stake here! Foot-washing pictures that. Christ said.

Look, Peter, you're not going to do it your way. I'm telling you to do it this way, and your eternal life is a stake; to have a part with Me!

Through baptism we have a part with Christ, and in Christ.

Verse 9: "Anyone who transgresses and does not continue in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. But the one who continues in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.

John 17:11: "And I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, those whom You have given Me, so that they may be one, even as We are one.

Verse 21: "That they all may be one, even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, in order that the world may believe that You did send Me."

All three are one; we're all in the Family together! Others who believe the same thing and worship God and obey God the Father and Jesus Christ exactly as He says are in the Father and the Son, as well.

2-John 10: "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house, and do not say to him, 'Welcome!' For anyone who says, 'Welcome!' to him is partaking in his evil works" (vs 10-11).

That's the same as if I go to another house or invite someone into my house!

James 4:17: "Therefore, if anyone knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin."

Pretty strong Scriptures there! That's what motivated this message and why felt strongly about telling you about what I experienced and how it fits with what's coming up—the Passover. Christ puts the foot-washing first! Sometimes that goes right past us. Then we get to the bread and the wine. There's a reason why He does that. It's integral, foundational. We can't get to the bread and the wine unless we are one of a same spirit. Obeying God with a yielding. submissive contrite spirit, a humble spirit. Open!

  • What do You want me to do, God?
  • How can I please You?
  • What is it that you have for me?

I'm a blank slate here, and I put my trust in You!

  • direct me
  • lead me
  • guide me!

What do I do? I don't know! Help me! Now you can go to the bread and the wine! Now you're in Christ! But when you do your own thing, you're not in Christ!

  • What will be the result of folks who do that?
  • Watering down? Maybe they're watering down other things as well as the foot-washing!
  • Not strictly adhering to the Word of God?

Eventually, there will be no one to fellowship with!

If you're concerned about going somewhere where there are people, maybe eventually there won't be anybody there that believes the same thing you do. They will all have left and given up saying that it's not necessary to do these things that God has said. 'We'll do it our way! We will worship God our way!' Just like Cain, the way of Cain!

Christ will come back and say, 'Will I find faith on the earth, the faith, when I come?' Hopefully He will find it in us! That's critical to have a part with Him!

That's was my thought with that. Sometimes we just assume that people we are fellowshipping with think the same way; but not always. If you listen closely, you will hear differences.

The Holy Spirit leads us into all Truth, and if you 'hunger and thirst' after that then you're going to have the same mind with others and you'll be connected. God's Holy Spirit will help you to discern that. You will feel that bond.

If they're obeying the words of God they're going to 'hunger and thirst' after the Truth. Obedience and submission is how we gain our understanding. God doesn't give to us without that. Once we do that then He grants us knowledge and understanding, and with the understanding comes wisdom. With wisdom comes the Holy Spirit and discernment of how to get around and do. How to live our lives the way that pleases God.

  • we have to repent of our sins
  • we have to identify what's wrong and put out sin
  • ask God to show us
  • have that willing, submissive, obedient attitude
  • ask for forgiveness through the blood of Christ
  • then we receive the remission, forgiveness of sin
  • follow the Truth and the faith once given

Jer. 31 talks about a New Covenant: God will put a New Covenant in them and He will write it in their heart and mind. It's not going to be an outward thing; it's an inward thing!

Foot-washing is an inward thing, too. In addition to taking the bread and wine inwardly—they're physical items but they go inward—what about the washing? Have you considered that it is inward and has a spiritual application?

Seriously and sincerely striving to seek the Truth and obey the Truth as given to us, there's a situation in the New Testament Church right after the Holy Spirit was given. Obeying God no matter what. The New Testament Church was coming along and miracles, signs and wonders were being done through the Holy Spirit and things were going great.

Then you have some people who bring in with them hypocrisy, deceit, manipulation, not truthful, lies. Who is the father of lies? Satan who had a way of getting in!  God didn't want that, and He was going to make a dramatic show of hypocrisy already in the Church. It's the example of two disobedient people, self-willed, deceitful and hypocritical. God struck them dead!

Acts 5:1: "Now, a certain man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a possession, and kept back part of the price for himself, his wife also being aware of it; and he brought a certain portion and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, 'Ananias, why did Satan fill your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit…'" (vs 1-3).

In other words, not an individual, not a person, but the Spirit within Peter discerned that Ananias was lying.

"'…and to keep back part of the price of the estate? Before it was sold, was it not yours? And after you sold it, was it not in your own authority?….'" (vs 3-4).

He could have said that he would give part of it, and that would have been okay.

"'…Why did you contrive this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men, but to God'" (v 4).

Every time we lie, deceive, slight the truth or do something off track or don't obey a hundred percent, we know what we're doing. We're lying to God and deceiving ourselves. We are running the chance of not having a part with God, being put outside like Cain was—the way of Cain!

Verse 5: "And when Ananias heard these words, he fell down and expired… [he died] …and great fear came upon all those who heard these things…. [pretty dramatic] …Then the young men wound him up, and carried him out and buried him. Now, it came to pass about three hours later that his wife also came in, not knowing what had taken place" (vs 5-7). They had gotten together on this!

Verse 8: "And Peter said to her, 'Tell me if you sold the estate for so much?' And she said, 'Yes, for so much.'…. [that was the lie] …Then Peter said to her, 'Why is it that you agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who buried your husband are at the door, and they shall carry you out.' And she immediately fell down at his feet and expired. And the young men came in and found her dead; and they carried her out and buried her by her husband. Then great fear… [quite an understatement] …came upon the whole church, and upon all who heard these things" (vs 8-11).

There's something else that happens here that God wants us to do and have this attitude.

Verse 12: "And many signs and wonders were done among the people by the hands of the apostles; (and they were all with one accord… [one mind] …in Solomon's porch."

You can't have one mind when you go in and there's another doctrine being taught. You can't have one mind when there's deception and hypocrisy. You have to have clean spirit and a clean mind. We have to be cleansed and have part with Christ. We have to obey Him exactly as He says and have a willing and teachable attitude. None of the others dared to join them. None of the other hypocrites dared to join them because they might die, too.

Verse 13: "And none of the others dared to join them, but the people magnified them; and believers were added all the more to the Lord… [true believers, people didn't have the attitude of deceit and hypocrisy] …multitudes of both men and women), insomuch that the people were bringing out the sick into the streets and putting them on beds and stretchers, so that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them" (vs 13-15).

Here is Peter who has learned the lesson, and God is using him mightily. The Spirit is strong in him.

Verse 16: "And a multitude from the cities round about also came together to Jerusalem, bringing sick ones and those beset by unclean spirits; and they were all healed."

Here's the problem: The 'religious' community didn't like this

Verse 17: "Then the high priest rose up, and all those with him, being of the sect of the Sadducees; and they were filled with anger."

But look at what Peter does and how he has learned the lesson that Christ told him.

Look, Peter, you're going to have to do it My way, not your way.

Peter got it!

Verse 18: "And they laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the public hold." They threw Peter in jail!

Verse 19: "But during the night an angel of the Lord came and opened the doors of the prison; and after bringing them out, he said, 'Go and stand in the temple, and speak to the people all the words of this life'" (vs 19-20). They were given a directive!

It could be a bad thing physically; they might get beat up again. They might even be killed. But Peter learned his lesson. He was told to go stand in the temple and he was there before it opened and he was waiting.

Verse 21: "And after hearing that, they entered into the temple at dawn and taught. Now, when the high priest and those with him came, they called together the Sanhedrin and all the elderhood of the sons of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison; and when they returned, they reported, saying, 'We indeed found the prison locked with all security, and the keepers standing outside in front of the doors; but after opening them, we did not find anyone inside'" (vs 21-23).

Verse 24: "And when they heard these words, both the high priest and the captain of the temple, and the chief priests also, were utterly perplexed as to what this could lead to."

They didn't know what to do. This was getting out of hand once again (referring to Christ) and now here are the apostles and they're not listening to the rulers of the temple, not doing what they tell them to do.

Verse 25: "But a certain one came and reported to them, saying, 'Behold, the men whom you put in the prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people.' Then the captain went with the officers and brought them without violence, so that they might not be stoned; for they feared the people. And they brought them in and set them before the Sanhedrin. And the high priest asked them, saying, 'Did we not order you by a direct command not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, with the purpose of bringing this man's blood upon us'" (vs 25-28).

Isn't that interesting? The apostles are bringing the blood of Christ on them and they wanted Christ to be killed and not Barabbas. Now they're blaming the apostles.

Verse 29: "But Peter and the apostles answered and said, 'We are obligated to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus Whom you killed by hanging Him on a tree. Him has God exalted by His right hand to be a Prince and Savior, to give repentance and remission of sins to Israel…. [giving them a sermon] …And we are His witnesses of these things, as is also the Holy Spirit, which God has given to those who obey Him'" (vs 29-32).

If you want God's Holy Spirit, you want it burn within you, obedience is required! Same way with the foot-washing. Exactly as it says; only members of the Church, baptized member who have been washed and are clean are to do that.

Verse 33: "Now, when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and took counsel to put them to death. But a certain man stood up, a Pharisee in the Sanhedrin, Gamaliel by name, a teacher of the law who was honored by all the people, and commanded that the apostles be put out for a short while" (vs 33-34)

Verse 37: "After this one, in the days of the registration, Judas the Galilean rose up and drew away many people after him; but he perished, and all who had been persuaded by him were scattered. And now I say to you, withdraw from these men, and let them alone; for if this counsel or this work be from men, it will be overthrown; but if it be from God, you do not have the power to overthrow it. Take heed, lest you be found to be fighting even against God'" (vs 37-39).

If you are doing what is pleasing to God, obeying Him and submitting, yielding with a contrite spirit, then people are fighting against God, not you.

When they persecute you, they're persecuting God and Jesus Christ. It's not you. When they don't do what we say, when we say what God's Word says—as elders we pass that on—and they say, 'Who are you to tell me what to do?' they're talking to Jesus Christ not us.

I had a very fine elder when I was younger tell me one time—good advice. He held the Bible up and said, 'If you speak through this, God's Word, and they attack you, they're attacking God's Word, attacking God!' same thing here.

Verse 40: "And they were persuaded by him; and they called in the apostles and, after beating them, commanded them not to speak in the name of Jesus; and they released them. Then they departed from the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they were accounted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And every day, in the temple and in the houses, they did not cease teaching and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ" (vs 40-42).

They didn't give up. They obeyed the angel, obeyed what they were supposed to do and God blessed them. Same thing with us. No matter what, we must obey God and not men!

Foot-washing and the example of Peter gives us insight into doing what God says exactly to and as He says it.

I'm not going to able to get to how it represents our baptism, but think about this: Why would it be for those who are baptize? It says, 'You're clean, but not all of you.' Those who are clean don't need to be washed, but only the feet. You've already been washed. You're washed in baptism and then the feet, going into the water are immersed in water. The Greek word 'baptismos' means immersion. Your feet are immersed in water and then they're brought out of the water—raised up—and they're fresh, clean, cleansed.

That is a washing that we received through baptism into the 'newness of life.' Buried with the death of Christ in grave and raised to 'newness of life.' It pictures our part with God. If we allow those who have not been baptized and received the Holy Spirit partake of the foot-washing—the ordinance—it is breaking what God would want, and it's not what should be done. Only baptized members should be doing it. I hope you can see how it pictures that.

Having part with Jesus not only refers to His ministry, but to each and every one of us. He was telling Peter that he would not have part with Him…

One of the words there part and lot; later He talks about replacing Judas and casting a lot for that. Also, in Acts 8 in talking to Simon Magus and how Satan had filled his heart and that he would not have part or lot with God or the apostles. That lot was referring to the apostleship. But the part we do, what our part in Christ is.

It's very important to have a part with Christ; it says:

Revelation 20:6: "Blessed and Holy is the one who has part… [Greek: 'meros'—having part and parcel and involvement with, part of] …in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power. But they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years."

That's how important this is to have a part with Christ in the first resurrection as firstfruits. It's salvational, and the foot-washing pictures that. Doing it exactly as Christ says is very, very important. 'Blessed are you if you do these things.'

Revelation 22:18: "For I jointly testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, that if anyone adds to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life…. [see how serious that is?] …and from the Holy City, and from the things that are written in this book" (vs 18-19).

It's very important for us to follow what God says and how it pictures our baptism with Christ.

Colossians 3:1: "Therefore, if you have been raised together with Christ… [and our feet come out of the water] …seek the things that are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Set your affection on the things that are above, and not on the things that are on the earth. For you have died, and your life has been hid together with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, is manifested, then you also shall be manifested with Him in glory" (vs 1-4).

We have a share in His suffering, and following His example we are to become like Christ. We are to overcome the fleshy nature of sin. That's what Unleavened Bread pictures, and Passover. We will be glorified, if we do these things, as sons/daughters of God.

We show God that we love Him through obedience. He loved us first, and we love Him. Christ gave us the foot-washing. He was demonstrating a spiritual lesson with a physical act!

I don't hold any animosity toward anyone, or judge anyone. I only know what I saw and heard. I know what God tells me to do in those cases. I'm to follow what Christ said no matter what.

So, if it means that I'm the last person on the face of the earth and I'm standing in field by myself so be it. But I'm going to do what Christ says, and hopefully follow that example, the example in Acts, the example of the foot-washing and what Christ tells Peter. If we can internalize that and understand a little bit more why it's so important to do exactly what Christ says. That we keep the foot-washing in the Passover service, because it has an inclusive purpose and symbolic spiritual meaning!

Scriptural References:

  • Genesis 26:5
  • John 8:29
  • John 13:1-17, 6-9
  • Matthew 20:20-28
  • Galatians 1:6-12
  • 2 John 8-9
  • John 17:11, 21
  • 2 John 10-11
  • James 4:17
  • Acts 5:1-34, 37-42
  • Revelation 20:6
  • Revelation 22:18-19
  • Colossians 3:1-4

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • 1 Peter 2:21
  • 1 Peter 1
  • Acts 8

SD:bo
Transcribed: 4/28/28

Copyright 2022—All rights reserved. Except for brief excerpts for review purposes, no part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means without the written permission of the copyright owner. This includes electronic and mechanical photocopying or recording, as well as the use of information storage and retrieval systems.

Books