Fred Coulter—January 15, 2011

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Greetings, everyone, welcome to Sabbath services! Today we're going to talk about and study:

  • What is the washing of the water by the Word?
  • Why do we need it?
  • How do we in our prayers ask God to help us?
  • It's a very important thing!

Let's come to Ephesians 5 and let's see the one place where Paul writes about the washing of the water by the Word. Then we'll put some other Scriptures together and understand what he's talking about here.

Ephesians 5:25: "Husbands, love your own wives, in the same way that Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it; so that He might sanctify it... [sanctify means to make Holy. ...having cleansed it... [Cleansed it from what?] ...cleansed it with the washing of the water by the Word" (vs 25-26).

This is a process! It's not just something that happens once, because cleanse it is present tense. And with the "…washing of the water by the Word… [notice what it's to do]: …That He might present it to Himself as the glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it might be Holy and without blame." (vs 26-27). That's the whole process that Christ is using to perfect the Church.

Now, let's come back to Ephesians 1; let's see how this ties in with the first part of it, to see what He is doing with us so that we can be Holy and without blame. Ephesians 1:3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly things... [Some people seem to think that means that we go to heaven or something like that. No! But the things that help us in conversion—God's Spirit, the Word of God—these are heavenly things sent to the earth.] the heavenly things with Christ. According as He has personally chosen us for Himself before the foundation of the world in order that we might be Holy and blameless before Him in love" (vs 3-4).

  • So what is this going to do?
  • How does this operation work?

Let's see what it's destined to do, v 5: "Having predestinated us for sonship to Himself through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His own will."

What is the washing of the water by the Word? Let's come to the Gospel of John, chapter four; here we find the first instance where Jesus talks about living water. We will see that the living water has to do with the Holy Spirit. So the washing of the water by the Word, then, has to do with the Holy Spirit. Then we will see that confirmed in John 7.

John 4:9: "Therefore, the Samaritan woman said to Him, 'How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, to give You water to drink? For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.'.... [They weren't to associate with any Gentiles. That was a tradition of the Jews, not a Law of God.] ...Jesus answered and said to her, 'If you had known the gift of God... [Now what is the gift of God? The Spirit of God.]...and Who it is that said to you, "Give Me some water to drink," you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water'" (vs 9-10).

Now where else do we find living waters? Where else is that mentioned? Besides John 7 where else is that mentioned? The book of Revelation! What comes out from underneath the throne of God? Living waters, crystal clear! So that has to do with the supply of the Holy Spirit. Then she didn't understand that and she said: " then do You have the living water?" (v 11).

Let's see how it is explained here in John 7:37. You've heard this said before, too. We'll come back and we'll see it in John 6 that it's combined with something else. John 7:37: "Now, in the last day, the great day of the Feast, Jesus stood and called out, saying, 'If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. The one who believes in Me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.'…. [We'll see that has to do with the washing of the water by the Word.] …But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, which those who believed in Him would soon receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified" (vs 37-39).

So there we have it. "If anyone thirsts..." This is a way of explaining that human beings were made incomplete and needing the Holy Spirit of God and needing the righteousness of God to fulfill their purpose in life. We'll see how Jesus explains it. We also have to understand that this comes through Christ. This is the part of the Holy Spirit of God which is called the Spirit of Christ and it is to do something for us. This has nothing to do with baptism. Baptism is the start of the covenant relationship between you and God. This has to do with something else that involves overcoming. It involves overcoming in our minds and in our hearts, having our minds and hearts changed.

Let's see what Jesus said here, John 6:35: "Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; the one who comes to Me shall never hunger; and the one who believes in Me shall never thirst at any time.'" Meaning this: If you are baptized and receive the Holy Spirit of God, you are believing in Christ at all times and therefore, the Holy Spirit will satisfy the purpose of your life.

Without the Holy Spirit, you're never going to know the purpose of life, you're never going to be satisfied in what you're doing. That's why people say, like it says in the Proverbs, 'Fool's delight is to discover himself.' And how many people out there, especially the hippies, they come along and they say, 'Hey, what are you doing?' Well, man, I'm finding myself. 'Were you lost? Where did you go? How do you find yourself?' And all of these things are motivated because God made us incomplete, needing the Spirit of God. So, if we do, then there's another aspect tied to it: he "…shall never hunger; and the one who believes in Me shall never thirst at any time."

Here's how Jesus explained it, v 48: "I am the bread of life.... [the bread of life combined with the living waters then is what converts you] ...Your fathers ate manna in the desert, but they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven so that anyone may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which comes down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread that I give is even My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world" (vs 48-51).

They couldn't understand that. They couldn't understand about eating His flesh and drinking His blood and how does that fill in with the living waters?

  • You first have to repent and be baptized; that puts you in covenant with God.
  • Then you receive the Holy Spirit; so now you have Christ, Who is the living bread.
  • Through the renewal of the covenant with the unleavened bread and wine, then we receive the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is to come to us spiritually just as water:

  • to wash
  • to cleanse
  • to heal

We'll see how that does here, v 53: "Therefore, Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves.'" When we get to the Passover time, we know that Jesus broke the bread and said, 'Here, take this, eat, this is My flesh which is broken for you.' Then He took the wine and He said, 'All of you drink of it, this is the blood of the New Covenant which is shed for the remission of sins.' That shows that you cannot have a relationship with Christ unless that is done that way, exactly as the Scriptures show.

Now, for many years I haven't given detailed sermons concerning the Passover, and so forth, but this year I'm going to because there's a lot there. What I'll have to do is also I'll have to show you the first and second editions of the Passover book, and then third edition—The Christian Passover. How could something so simple require so many pages? Well, the truth is, because it is so simple and so meaningful, Satan the devil has many counterfeits to try and keep the true Christians out of covenant with God. If you get out of covenant with God, you can lose your salvation. So therefore, there are so many things that come along to try and destroy that relationship.

Now let's see what He said, v 53: "...unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves." Of course, they were wondering, 'How can this be?' These were disciples who were following Him; not all the disciples—and a disciple means a learner—who followed him believed Him. Read John 8, we've gone through that before. They didn't believe in Him.

Verse 54: "The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up in the last day; For My flesh is truly food, and My blood is truly drink.... [Imagine after Christ got done repeating this and repeating this, they were beside themselves. 'What is He saying and doing?' See, because after that those disciples who didn't believe, they were offended and left! So much so that only the twelve were there and Jesus said to them, 'Are you going to go?'] ...The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood is dwelling in Me, and I in him'" (vs 54-56).

So the Holy Spirit and thewashing of the water by the Word and Christ in us all tie together. Here's the whole lesson of it, v 57: "As the living Father has sent Me, and I live by the Father; so also the one who eats Me shall live by Me."

  • by all the words that He taught
  • the message that He brought
  • how He inspired the apostles to write what they wrote

We shall live by Him.

Let's come to John 15 and see something else. Here we see that the Father is also involved in it, because the Holy Spirit, as we have seen, has two aspects:

  • the begettal from the Father
  • the Spirit of Christ, which gives us the mind of Christ

Then both of these work together with the washing of the water by the Word.

John 15:1: "I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman. He takes away every branch in Me that does not bear fruit; but He cleanses each one.... [How does He cleanse each one?] ...that bears fruit, in order that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean through the word that I have spoken to you.... [The washing of the water by the Word.] (Then He explains very clearly here): ...Dwell in Me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, but only if it remains in the vine, neither can you bearfruit unless you are dwelling in Me. I am the vine, and you are the branches. The one who is dwelling in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; because apart from Me you can do nothing'" (vs 1-5).

That's why there has to be conversion. And the washing of the water by the Word cannot take place until there first is:

  • repentance
  • baptism, which is the circumcision of the heart
  • then the Holy Spirit can be given

Once we have that, we need to grow in grace and knowledge, grow in understanding, and all of these things combine together, and that's the process of conversion that we have by living God's way. And the washing of the water by the Word becomes very important.

Now let's look at the opposite of this. Let's come to James 1, and see where it talks about unstable water of those who are unconverted. This is about praying and asking for wisdom, and so forth, and having endurance.

James 1:6: "But let him ask in faith, not doubting at all because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven by the wind and tossed to and fro…. [That's the way of the world. And who is the 'prince of the power of the air,' which sweeps people along? Satan the devil!] …Do not let that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" (vs 6-8).

That's the very first reason why we need the washing of the water by the Word—to increase the faith, to change our thinking. Changing our thinking and cleansing our minds is the whole total purpose of conversion! And it takes the washing of the water by the Word to do that. Let's see what James says to the double-minded; what happens when you're double-minded. We can equate this to, as the things that we covered concerning the 'church wars.' (Seven Churches-Church Wars I & II)

James 4:1: "What is the cause of quarrels and fightings among you? Is it not mainly from your own lusts that are warring within your members?.... [We'll see that's double-minded. You want to follow God, but then you let your lust rule and you're like the waves of the sea, tossed back and forth.] ...You lust, and have not; you kill, and are jealous, and are not able to obtain; you fight and quarrel, but still you do not have, because you do not ask…. [What happens when they hear that? 'Oh, you're not asking, well, then I'll ask.'] …Then you ask, and you do not receive, because you ask with evil motives... [unrepentant; we will see what the washing of the water is to do internally with us through repentance, beginning with repentance] ...with evil motives, that you may consumer it on your own lusts. You adulterers and adulteresses, don't you know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?.… [One foot in the world; one foot in the Church.] ...Therefore, whoever desires to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God" (vs 1-4).

Now notice what's taking place inside. This is the reason we need the washing of the water by the Word, v 5: "Or do you think that the scripture says in vain, 'The spirit that dwells in us lusts with envy'?" Because we're going to see the washing of the water by the Word is the answer to

  • overcoming lusts that pull you down
  • sin that still dwells in the mind
  • bad experiences of the past that still haunt you

That's what thewashing by the Word is. It starts with human nature and the lust that dwells in there. That's what we need to get rid of.

Verse 6: "But He gives greater grace. This is the reason it says, 'God sets Himself against the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.'…. [And humbling means repenting and yielding to God.] …Therefore, submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.... [he's the 'prince of the power of the air' giving you double-mindedness so that you're unstable like water. One way one day; one way another day. Can even change in minutes.] ...Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, purify your hearts, you double-minded!" (vs 6-8).

So how do we purify our hearts? It has to do with the washing of the water by the Word. Now notice the word cleanse, so many times that we've already covered. 'You are cleansed by the Word that Jesus has spoken.' That's the cleansing by the water of the Word. Let's see how that requires repentance.
Let's come to Psalm 51; here is a great Psalm which helps us understand

  • real repentance
  • how we are to yield to God
  • how we are to be completely broken-hearted when we sin and do things that are not right
  • we ask God for forgiveness

—and notice what He says, because this ties right in with the washing of the water of the Word.

Now this was after David had committed his sin with Bathsheba and here's his repentance, Psalm 51:1: "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion, blot out my transgressions." This is a model of prayer for repentance, especially if you have committed a real bad one, like David did. You wouldn't expect that David would have done anything like this, when you consider how he started.

So he was really repenting, and he says: "...blot out my transgressions" (v 1), because there were many. What did he do?

  • he shouldn't have had the affair in the first place
  • he shouldn't have sent a servant over there to invite her over to his place
  • she should not have been bathing up on the roof where she knew the king would walk in the evening
  • she should not have accepted the invitation
  • then they should not have had the affair
  • then he tried to cover it up

When you start sinning, what happens? You drift further and further from God! When you try and work it out yourself without repentance, it doesn't work! It only gets more complicated, only becomes more trouble.

So then he said, 'Oh, well, I'll solve the problem. I'm the king, I'm the commander in chief. I'll get General Joab up here and we'll work out a deal. I'll tell him to send Uriah the Hittite here and I'll get him to go sleep with his wife.' Well, Uriah wasn't quite so stupid, because he knew where his house was and he knew where Bathsheba bathed and he knew where the king walked. And why would the king reach clear down into the lower ranks and ask for Uriah the Hittite to come home, eat with the king, and then the king say, 'Oh, well, go have some pleasure with your wife.' And he said, 'No, my lord, if I'm not there fighting with my men, I'm not going to go with my wife.'

So he didn't do it. Now it makes you wonder what he suspected. Now David was really in a pickle, so he tried to convince him the next night and give a whole much more wine so he would be kind of half-looped and really want to go home and have an affair with his wife, like he should. 'No, my lord, I can't do it.' So then again he called Joab and said, 'Joab, when you're in the thick of the battle against the Amorites, I want you, when Uriah the Hittite is right up there with all the opposition, I want you to back away and let him die.'

Joab remembered that. Imagine what the general would think. So this, where he says here, 'blot out all my transgressions,' he had multiple transgressions and planning and he still didn't come to his senses until God sent Nathan the prophet. And he still didn't understand it until Nathan the prophet said—after giving the parable of the poor man with the little ewe lamb that was stolen, and then David said, 'Well, that man should be really punished'—'You, you are the man.' Then he related what he did with Bathsheba and so forth.

Now notice his approach. That's why you hear sin explained this way—dirty. Right? Because it is! So David said, v 2: "Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin." That had to be washed away internally as well as removed from the book of Life. Washing by the water by the Word!

"For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me" (v 3). Right there in the forefront of his mind. Have you ever had it that way? You just can't get rid of it? Or you have an experience that you just can't stop remembering and reliving? That's why you need the washing of the water of the Word. Think of all the things that he had to have cleansed out of his mind. All the deviousness to work out all these details to try and get it done. The using of an innocent man Joab, his general, to come and have that man killed. Sound a little like the mafia—doesn't it? But, just because he's king and has all power, that makes it even worse.

So David in his repentance really understood. He said: "Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done evil in Your sight that You might be justified when You speak and be in the right when You judge" (v 4). God's judgment was right. What was the everlasting punishment that David had, even though God forgave him his sin, because it was so grievous? He said, 'You're going to have trouble in your household all the rest of your life.'

You read the life of David after that. He had the incident with Absalom and Tamar. And then you had all of the other wives that David had. Other men took them that very day in the sight of the sun. Then the rebellion by Absalom. It got so bad that when the rebellion was going on and the kingdom was split, because of Absalom wanting to take over being king, and nothing but trouble and confusion and David was so afraid that he was leaving the palace with some of his troops and things like that. And a man was coming along and he just cursed him, shook his fist at him. 'You brought all of this upon us, blah, blah, blah.' And Joab said, 'You want me do him in?' He said, 'Nah, leave him alone, he's speaking the truth.' So he finally learned the lesson. God is right!

So then he admits this, he admits human nature. This is what we have to understand. "Behold I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me" (v 5). Was David born of an adulterous affair? No! We are born with the law of sin and death within us! And unless we have the Spirit of God to have the washing of the water of the Word, and to have our hearts andminds converted, we are going to go back and do just like David and revert back to the lusts of the law of sin and death within us. Then think we're justified in doing it. So this is a really a deep repentance here.

"Behold... [here is the whole purpose of the cleansing and washing the water by the Word.] ...You desire truth in the inward parts..." (v 6). Now what is it said of human nature? 'The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.' Is that not what happened with David in this affair? Was he not deceitful in it? Was he not desperately wicked in what he was doing? Yes, indeed! Wants the truth in the inward parts.

How much truth do we have? We can put it another way. How much are we willing to let the Spirit of the Truth, which is the washing of the water by the Word to convert our minds and actually change the way that we think with the Truth of God? Because that's what it's all about! That's how we are converted. That's how we come to have the mind of Christ. So God is really performing a miracle in us. He's taking us with this deceitful mind:

  • leading us to repentance
  • granting us His Holy Spirit
  • having us grow and overcome
  • giving His Spirit to us so we can change from deceitful to truthful, from carnal to Holy

—and all of those things are part of the washing of the water by the Word.

Now notice what else he says here, v 6: "...and in the hidden part..."—or the secret part. The secret recesses of the mind also have to be converted and changed. You can't say, 'God, I love you,' and then in the secret part of your mind still hold hatred for people, still hold grudges against people, still relive sins of the past. You have to have all of that washed out. "...and in the hidden part You shall make me to know wisdom…. [Now along with this washing, notice he gets a little scrubbing with it, too.] …Purge me with hyssop... [What is hyssop? Hyssop is like a scouring pad. Did he have a lot of dirt and sinful things in his relationship with God and in his mind, so to speak? Yes!] ...Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow" (vs 6-7).

When did David receive the Holy Spirit? When he was anointed to be king! So here he gave in to the pulls of the flesh after years and years and years. And also, after God gave the blessing and the promise, because David's heart was tender before he did this. And he was sitting in his house playing on his ten-string instrument. And he said, 'Oh, God, I'm in this house built of cedar and You have no place to live. Let me build a house for You.' Remember that? Then Nathan the prophet came and said, 'Yes, do all that's in your heart, but you will not build it, but your son because you're a bloody man.' But he had the blessing of doing all the plans, saving all the money, and everything to build it.

Verse 8: "Make me to hear joy and gladness that the bones which You have broken may rejoice.... [That's how crushed he was. His bones weren't broken, but felt as though he was broken.] ...Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create..." (vs 8-10). Now notice that. This is what has to be done. That's why the washing of the water by the Word because

  • it cleanses
  • it helps
  • it creates

—and you need the Holy Spirit plus the Word of God, which gets back to two things you've heard how many times—prayer and study!--right? Yes! "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me…. [He wasn't 'double-minded' and like the 'waves of the ocean.'] …Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me" (vs 10-11). So how close was he to really being right on the edge? Very close indeed!

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Now, let's continue on with the washing of the water by the Word; we need God's Spirit and we need His Word. What we need to do is have our minds cleansed. I want to go to is Hebrews 10:15, because here is the whole thing concerning how we get converted and change and then build the character of God.

Now they know this, that whenever we change our thinking, our brain structure changes and that the connections between the different cells of the brain refocus in a different way. That's how, for example, when you first learn to ride your bicycle you're scared to death. You think you're ready to fall down and sure enough you do fall down. So then they invented training wheels and then you put it on with training wheels and you don't know how to hold this thing up and you gradually learn how to do it. Then when you get it all down pat and you have trained your brain on what to do, why you can do so many things. You can do wheelies, you can squeal, you can do loop-de-loops and all this sort of things. You know just when to lean, you know when not to lean, and everything comes automatic. Same way with driving a car. You first get in, start driving a car, oh, man. But once you train your mind, or your brain, then it connects and it does it more automatically.

So this is how the Holy Spirit works and the washing of the water by the Word. Hebrews 10:15: "And the Holy spirit also bears witnesses to us; for after He had previously said, 'This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days,' says the Lord: 'I will give My laws into their hearts, and I will inscribe them in their minds'" (vs 15-16). Changing the way that we think and changing the structure of our brains, that's conversion and that is the result of having circumcision of the heart.

Let's see how that works. Let's see what it does for us. We'll see why it does it for us, Psalm 19:7: "The law of the LORD is perfect..." If you had a perfect one rare gold coin, would you throw it away? No, you wouldn't! You would treasure it—right? Yes! God's law is that way. That's where the Protestants put themselves. They throw that which is perfect by saying it's abolished, and accept the traditions and doctrines of men in place of it. "The law of the Lord is perfect…"

Psalm 12:6: "The words of the LORD... [by the washing of the water by the Word] ...are pure words..." Jesus said, 'by the Word, you are cleansed.' It changes your mind. It helps you overcome the sin within and it actually restructures your brain. That's why when you have a real problem you need to overcome, you ask God to 'please with the washing of the water by the Word get rid of this memory in my mind. Let me remember the lesson, but I don't want to live through it any more. I don't want to see it the window of my mind anymore. "The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times."

Psalm 19:7: "The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul... [gives you health—physical health, spiritual health. And if you have spiritual health and peace of mind your body's going to be more healthy—is that not correct? Do not a lot of the problems and sicknesses that people have are a result of sin externally and sin internally? Yes!] ...the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandments of the LORD are pure, enlightening the eyes" (vs 7-8). In other words, giving you a new education. Letting you be able to see things in the perspective that God sees them. Or if we have glasses, since you just took off your glasses, you know, through the lens of Scripture. That's how we are to view things—'enlightening the eyes.'

"The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever... [notice what all these things cover, and then we'll take some Scriptures out of Psa. 119 and see how all of this ties together. It's a fantastic thing.] ...The fear of the LORD is clean... [Doesn't come with any baggage. When you love God and fear Him and keep His commandments, it's right, it's good, it's true. You're doing the right thing.] ...enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether" (v 9).

So you see why we need to have our minds converted and changed by the washing of the water by the Word. Now I know I've had some things come along in my mind that I've just had to pray to God that way. 'Oh, Lord, cleanse it with the washing of the water by the Word. Help me to just forget this, get it out of my mind. Remove this thought from me.' You ever had that happen to you? Something just keeps coming, BAM! in your mind! Then you have to go to God that way. You have your part to do, but God will do it.

"...the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether, More to be desired than gold, yea, much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.... [Now notice what happens when you have these things in your mind. When the laws and commandments of God are in your mind, inscribed there, as part of the way that your brain is structured and then led by the Holy Spirit.] ...Moreover, by them Your servant is warned..." (vs 9-11). That's that automatic thing that comes up, 'Oh, oh, I'm not going to do that'—internal warning signal.

In our house we have ADT protection against thieves, burglars, and even us if we forget to turn it off. One time it went off and so I was upstairs. So ADT called in about ten seconds. So I'm standing there, 'Hello, who is this?' This is Fred Coulter. 'What's your password?' I don't know. (because I didn't know it; now I remember it) 'What's the name of your neighbor across the street?' I couldn't remember, I don't know. Well, why don't you let me hang up and I'll get the information and call you back. 'No, no, I can't have you hang up.' As Dolores pointed out, that's just the way a thief would answer it—'I don't know, but I'll find out.' In the meantime you never call back, you rob the house and get out of there. I had to call on Dolores, 'Help, what is the password? What is the name of the neighbor next door?' Because she was ready to call the police and dispatch them out there immediately.

So just exactly like with the Word of God. Once you have these things in your mind, you are warned. Don't think that! Don't do that! Replace it with something good and right. Let it be washed out of your mind.

Verse 11: " keeping them there is great reward." What are the greatest rewards?

  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • peace of mind
  • understanding

Correct? Aren't those the greatest rewards? Yes!

Here's something else it does, v 12: "Who can understand his errors?.… [You don't know right from wrong unless you know the Word of God. It doesn't automatically work unless it's written in your heart and in your mind. That's what conversion is all about.] ...Oh, cleanse me... [How? With the washing of the water by the Word!] ...from my secret faults." The secret recesses of your mind. That's what God wants us to do. Now we'll show you how to do it in a little bit.

"And keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; do not let them rule over me... [This is the whole thing all together. That's why we're to have the laws in our minds and inscribed in our hearts. We're going to see all the things in Psa. 119. 'Oh, how I love your law. How do I cleanse my way? What do I do?' And all of these things. It's fantastic when we put it all together.] ...then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart... [with the washing of the water by the Word] acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer" (vs 13-14).

Let's go to Psalm 119; we'll look at several sections of it. If you want a really fantastic revelation concerning the laws, commandments, statutes, judgments, precepts, everything about God's way, His testimonies, read all of Psa. 119; not all the way through. Take each section. This is an unusual Psalm. Notice right above v 1 it says Aleph. That's the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Each verse in the Hebrew begins with Aleph. It doesn't begin that way in English. In each section there are eight verses times twenty-two, which is the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet, then takes up all the verses. Let's see what the last verse is here so we can get the right one—176.

This entire Psalm is called a Psalm of Degrees. And each one of these eight verses is a degree. The singers at the temple were to memorize this to sing it from memory and notice what it says here. Let's just start with v 1 because this is a really good place for us to begin.

Psalm 119:1: "Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.... [If it's in your mind, you're going to walk in it automatically—right?] ...Blessed are they who keep His testimonies and who seek Him with the whole heart…. [And that's what's to happen as we become more converted, become more whole hearted.] …They also do no iniquity; they walk in His ways.... [So if someone says, 'How do you live?' I walk in the ways of the Lord. How do you live?] ...You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently" (vs 1-4). Now precepts is interesting. That's every concept of God—diligently!

Notice, he laments a little bit here of the pull of human nature, v 5: "O that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes! Then I shall not be ashamed when I have respect unto all Your commandments. I will praise You with uprightness of heart when I have learned Your righteous judgments" (vs 5-7). That's what happens with the washing of the water by the Word.

  • this is why we have Sabbath services
  • this is why we go through the Word of God
  • this is why we do what we do, because God is converting us and we're growing in grace and knowledge

He is perfecting us. He's getting us ready for His kingdom through the washing of the water by the Word.

"I will keep Your statutes; O forsake me not utterly…. [v 9 ties all of this together]: …With what shall a young man cleanse his way?... [Young man or young woman.] ...By taking heed according to Your Word" (vs 8-9). You follow the Word of God. You know the Word of God and have it written in your heart with the washing of the water by the Word. And also what it does with the washing of the water by the Word, it cleanses out those secret little things in the corner of your mind that only you know, that only you've experienced, those things that you've told no one. And all of us have plenty of those—don't we? Yes, indeed! God cleanses all of that out.

Verse 9: "With what shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With all my heart I have sought You; O let me not wander from Your commandments…. [notice the cooperation that we need also]: …Your Word I have laid up in my heart, so that I might not sin against You?…. [The more you understand the Word of God, becomes part of the way you think, the less you're going to sin. That's the whole purpose of it.] …Blessed are You, O LORD; teach me Your statutes" (vs 9-12).

Come down here to v 18; this one I really, really like because this explains more about the Word of God. How is the Word of God written? 'Line upon line; precept upon precept; a little here, a little there.' Are there things in the Word of God that even though you've gone over in the past, you go over it and you learn more—right? You understand more.

Verse 18: "Open my eyes, so that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law." Or we can also say out of the Gospels, out of the general epistles, out of the Epistles of Paul, out of the book of Revelation. Open my mind, open my eyes that I may behold—and that is understand, see the things that I've never understood before. And those things will come with the washing of the water by the Word.

Verse 33, I like this section here: "Teach me, O LORD..." And that's all a part of our prayers to God. How do we learn the Bible? Well, God is the one Who teaches us. How does He teach us?

  • from His Word we study
  • with His Spirit it's written in our hearts and in our minds.

That's how He teaches us. And what does it say there in John 6:45? 'And all shall be taught of God.' So all the mechanics of learning and teaching and growing and understanding and God's Spirit all come from God. So if we want to understand something, we ask God, 'Teach me.' He's not going to teach it to you instantly. You've got to search it out. You've got to put it together and then when you do, you'll know it. 'Well, God has taught me.'

"Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, and I shall keep it unto the end. Give me understanding, that I may keep Your law and observe it with all my heart" (vs 33-34). Notice the complete yieldedness to God, the complete fantastic attitude toward the laws and commandments of God. That's why you've heard me say in the past that Psa. 119 has got to be a prophetic understanding of how Christ looked at the laws of God. Not entirely, but in the main.

Verse 35: "Make me to walk in the path of Your commandments... [Now what is a path? A path is a way! Who is the way? Jesus said, 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life!'] ...walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in them…. [What did Jesus say? He said, 'If you love Me, keep the commandments, namely Mine.' See how the Bible all ties together? Old Testament/New Testament.] …Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to covetousness.... [He didn't want to become double-minded like we started out there in James 1.] ...Turn away my eyes from seeing vanity; give me life in Your way" (vs 35-37). Look at Solomon, did he get lifted up in pride and vanity in his old age? Yes, indeed, he sure did! Did not David with the thing—he wasn't old age then, he must have been about what, about his 50s at that time, with Bathsheba. But he learned.

"...give me life in Your way. Fulfill Your word to Your servant, so that You may be feared...." (vs 37-38). Fulfill your word to your servant and if we add to that the washing of the water by the Word, to growing in knowledge and understanding and grace with the Word of God by the Spirit of God, then all of this comes alive. I don't know about you, but hey, when I read and study Psa. 119, I get all excited and I feel about this high. You'll understand why.

Verse 39: "Turn away my reproach which I fear, for Your judgments are good. Behold, I have longed after Your precepts… [As David said in another Psalm, 'I have longed after you as in a dry and thirsty land where no water is.'] ...give me life in Your righteousness" (vs 39-40). That's fantastic.

What I want you to do is tie all of this together with the washing of the water by the Word, v 47: "And I will delight myself in Your commandments, which I have loved. And I will lift up my hands unto Your commandments, which I have loved, and I will meditate on Your statutes" (vs 47-48). That's how you get them written in your heart and in your mind.

Verse 49: "Remember the word to Your servant upon which You have caused me to hope.... [The Word of God gives us hope! Claim the promise of that hope. Claim the promise of God's inspiration.] (notice what it does): ...This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your Word has given me life" (vs 49-50)—or in time of trial and testing. We all have that and we all go through that. That's why we need the Spirit of God to give us comfort, to uplift us.

Let's come to v 97; this one you've heard many times, but look at it. "O how love I Your law!.…" If you love God,

  • you'll love His Word
  • you'll love His commandments
  • you'll love His law

Notice tying in with having it written in our hearts and in our minds, v 97: "...It is my meditation all the day." And what you think in your heart, that's what you are. If you think of these things in your heart, that brings conversion with the Spirit of God.

"Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation.... [Notice what it does]: ...I understand more than the ancients because I keep Your precepts" (vs 98-100). Isn't that something?

Now, I don't want you to be like the man who shot his TV. He got mad at the TV because there was some commentator on there talking about something he knew was entirely wrong, so he shot the TV. The neighbor heard it, the police came out and he got arrested for aggravated assault. Well, it didn't do any good to shoot the TV, ruined the TV.

But, when you hear people say things and when you watch the news, how many times do you find yourself talking back to it because you know the Word of God. Now, even if you shout back, you're not going to make it heard at the other end. It isn't going to do any good to shout. So if it really upsets you, there is the power off, turn it off. You know more than they do. And the truth is, God expects you to. Is He not educating you to be a king and priest in His kingdom? Yes!

Here's what else it will do, v 101: "I have held back my feet from every evil way..." So if you're walking in the way of Lord, you're not going to be walking in the way of evil.

Now, stop and think about this for just a minute. By keeping the Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, that's the day of pleasure for the world—is it not? Yes, indeed! Starts out Friday night with parties and boozing and carousing, and all of this sort of thing. Saturday in the daytime you've got all kinds of sports and sales and shopping, and all of this thing. So just by keeping the Sabbath, that in itself keeps you out of the way of an awful lot of evil. Maybe you've never thought of it that way.

Verse 103: "I have held back my feet from every evil way, so that I might keep Your word. I have not departed from Your ordinances, for You have taught me…. [Now let's tie this in with where Jesus said, 'He who eats Me shall never be hungry.'] …How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!.... [That is the palette of your mind, because it does so much for you to change you and convert you.] ...Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way" (vs 103-104). So again, don't shoot your TV, just hit the power button.

Now let's look at some of the things that cleanse us and how we are to change our lives with this. You're going to notice the comparison. You're going to notice the difference. Here is what Paul says here concerning how we are to be converted:

2-Corinthians 6:14: "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and lawlessness have in common? And what fellowship does light have with darkness?" That doesn't mean you treat people in the world in a harsh way. They just don't understand. But you can't have fellowship with them. 'Oh, come on, let's go down to the bar on Friday night here and have a good time. All the women will be here and all of this.' Nah, can't do that. 'Oh, let's go to the ball game on Saturday. You know, this college game. It is a great game.'

I like to watch certain sports and I like football and I'm glad they're changing the rules so they don't kill them every time that they tackle them. But you know, you can't do those things on the Sabbath. You can't go out with them. Besides, I like to watch it on television. I don't like to go in the crowd.

Verse 15: "And what union does Christ have with Belial?..." Belial are sons of worthlessness. And that's generally attributed to what? False prophets! So, we don't go to other churches and say, 'How do you understand the Scriptures here?' Now they may have some things that are right, that's true. But if it is, we prove it out of the Bible for ourselves.

"...Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? And what agreement is there between a temple of God and idols? For you are a temple of the living God… [Christ and God the Father are dwelling in you.] ...exactly as God has said. 'I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God... [That's the result of the washing of the water by the Word, the cleansing of the mind through the Spirit of God.] ...and I will be their God, and they shall be My people…. [So then we have a command. What are we to do here?] …Therefore, come out from the midst of them and be separate,' says the Lord, 'and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you; And I shall be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty" (vs 15-18).

Now notice what we are to do, what this is to lead us to do, 2-Corinthians 7:1: "Now then, beloved, since we have these promises, we should purge ourselves from every defilement of the flesh and the spirit... [How? By the washing of the water by the Word!] ...perfecting Holiness in the fear of God."

There's one other step that needs to be, 2-Corinthians 10 and this tells us how we are to do it. This is the way that we need to do it mentally and spiritually:
2-Corinthians 10:3: "For although we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.... [This is why we cannot use human betterment as a way to improve ourselves, because that's the way of the world. Yes, we need to be better, but we need to be better from the inside with God's Spirit.] ...we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the overthrowing of strongholds" (vs 3-4). That is with the Spirit of God. And what stronghold is the hardest one to control and overthrow? The mind!

So he talks about, v 5: "Casting down vain imaginations... [You correct yourself. You know when your vanity is starting to get a hold of you. You know when the thought is a wrong thought.] ...and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God..." We are to

  • use our minds
  • use the Word of God
  • use the Spirit of God

—this way: "...and bringing into captivity... [controlling it] ...every thought into the obedience of Christ" (v 5). That's the perfect thing we need to do. We're going to fall short.

  • That's why there's repentance!
  • That's why there's the washing of the water of the Word!
  • That's why in bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ we get the reliving of the past experiences and sins out of our lives!

We remember the lesson, like the Apostle Paul did. He remembered he persecuted the Church, but he didn't relive it. When you relive those things over and over and over again, or there is something that just keeps coming back into your mind, coming back into your mind, you need to grab a hold of that thought, pray about it, come before God and ask Him to cleanse it out of your mind with the washing of the water by the Word.

"...bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ; And having a readiness to avenge all disobedience, whenever your obedience has been fulfilled" (vs 5-6). That's how you overcome the disobedience!

  • you replace the disobedience with obedience
  • you replace sin with righteousness
  • you control your thoughts

As the Proverb says, 'Guard the door of your mind.' That's how the washing of the water is to work in our lives.

Scriptural References:

  1. Ephesians 5:25-27
  2. Ephesians 1:3-5
  3. John 4:9-11
  4. John 7:37-39
  5. John 6:35, 48-51, 53-57
  6. John 15:1-5
  7. James 1:6-8
  8. James 4:1-8
  9. Psalm 51:1-11
  10. Hebrews 10:15-16
  11. Psalm 19:7
  12. Psalm 12:6
  13. Psalm 19:7-14
  14. Psalm 119:1-12, 18, 33-40, 47-50, 97-104
  15. 2-Corinthians 6:14-18
  16. 2-Corinthians 7:1
  17. 2-Corinthians 10:3-6

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • John 8
  • John 6:45

Also referenced:

  • Book: The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter
  • Sermon: Seven Churches-Church Wars I & II

Transcribed: 1-24-11

Formatted: bo—1-25-11