• Repentance and Obedience

    Repentance and Obedience
    by The Revelator

    It is very rare to hear the subject of real repentance and real obedience being discussed among Christian churches in this present-day religious world. This booklet will address the profound importance for believers to develop a child-like humility, and to have a child-like willingness to obey our Heavenly Father. Although a form of repentance is recognized by most sincere Christians, it is however obvious that this subject fails to have the power of conviction in the liberal-minded churches of today. Most important, Christians are not aware of the danger of believing false doctrine; which simply means to believe lies about God! Generally speaking, sincere Christians never consider that they might be deceived, and that they might be believing false teachings about God. Deceived Christians simply are not aware that they are deceived! However it matters very much what the doctrines are that determine how and what we believe about God! Indeed, the main theme and warnings of the new testament is not only based on moral standards, but for saints to guard themselves against believing false teachings and false doctrines!

    All that sincere Christians seem to know, and what they have been taught is that they must never hate; and that they must always try to be "good" people. They have also been told to "love" everybody and all people, and they must by all means "tolerate" everything and all manner of life-styles. The problem with this "reasoning" shows that people do not seem to understand the definition of the word "love", since they will tend to act out their feelings and misguided emotions with what they think is "love". We are truly a deceived people when we do not seem to understand that in order to "love" there must also be a profound hatred toward certain things. We have indeed lost the art of common sense when we as a supposedly "Christian" society with all our churches cannot explain or understand the obvious difference between love and hate. We have been conditioned by our "learning" institutions and by our liberal-minded churches to regard even the very word "hate" as something bad or evil. It is time to examine this accepted "Christian" view point of "love" and "hate", and begin to look at these words the way God looks at them. This is what real repentance and real obedience toward our Heavenly Father is all about! It doesn't seem to enter into the minds of sincere Christian people that God himself has a profound hatred toward certain things and attitudes, as it shows in Pro. 6:16-19.

    Proverbs 6:16-19 These six [things] doth the LORD hate: yea, seven [are] an abomination unto him:

    17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

    18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

    19 A false witness [that] speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. (KJV)

    Is it not reasonable for us to also hate what God hates, especially if we profess that we are "converted" Christians? The Biblical meaning of the word "converted" will be explained later. People do not seem to understand that repentance is not possible unless our minds and hearts are instilled with a real abhorrence toward sin and false doctrine. In order for a believer to repent of sin there must be a profound hatred toward sin and deception, and a believer must understand the false concepts and the spiritual deception that this world is in. Including the deception of this so-called Christian and religious world!

    Most sincere Christians will not admit it, but they love the vain things and customs that are highly esteemed and popular that this evil world provides. See Luke 16:15.

    Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. (KJV)

    The things and customs that are highly regarded by this world are an abomination in the sight of God! What is generally accepted and loved among many sincere Christians concerning the things and customs of this world is the opposite of what the apostle John instructed us in 1John 2:15.

    1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (KJV)

    This is very serious, because the love of the Father is not in anyone that loves this world and the things of this world. Also in James 4:4 it states that whosoever is in agreement and in friendship with this world, then God becomes their enemy!

    James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. (KJV)

    If professing Christians cannot understand why God has a hatred of the "empty" and "vain" things of this society, then this is the precise reason for the cause of their causal attitude toward repentance of sin and deception. It is just as important in the eyes of God for a Christian to repent of deception and false doctrine, as well as to repent of evil deeds. According to what the apostle Paul states in Rom. 2:8 and 6:16, it is very important for a Christians to know what they are following and obeying in this life.

    Romans 2:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, (KJV)

    Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (KJV)

    Paul explained that we must not be contentious to obvious truth, but we must believe and learn to obey the truth of God. Whatever we yield to and obey in this life, we automatically become servants to what we obey. Whatever we obey and follow in this life becomes our god. Obedience is the key word, and it is very important that we learn why we believe this things we do; and why we obey the customs and traditions that we do. Paul explains in 1Cor. 8:5 that there are many gods (small g) and many lords (small l) in heaven and earth.

    1 Corinthians 8:5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many, (KJV)

    This is a spiritual truth and fact that most Christians take so much for granted, and out of ignorance they will obey the customs of these false gods and lords. Believing false doctrine is the same as believing lies about God, which will deceive Christians into obeying these false gods!

    The type of repentance and obedience that this booklet will address is generally not taught in most churches of today. This evil world is under the sway of a very real fallen angelic being called Satan the devil! To understand this fact it would be helpful to read my booklet entitled "The World Before Adam". This fallen angel would love to deceive God's children into obeying false gods, and he has indeed done a very cunning work of deception on God's people into disobeying the one true God of Israel. Millions of sincere Christians are obeying the customs of false gods thinking they are serving and obeying the one true God! I know a statement of this nature will offend many sincere people, however the Bible was written for this very reason. It was written to reveal the one true God to his people called Israel. Through a system of laws and commandments the Bible explains in detail how God's people Israel (past and present) are to guard themselves against false gods, and to not be deceived into obeying these false gods. My booklet entitled "Lost Israel and the Gentiles" explains who the modern-day Israelites are. It is very important for Christians to understand that these false gods that are mentioned many times in the Bible are nothing more than fallen angels that rebelled against God, and are waging spiritual warfare against God's people! All these false gods that Israel was warned to resist are still here, and did not disappear with the death of Christ. This fact is clearly stated in Eph. 6:12.

    Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. (KJV)

    These powers and rulers of darkness are very cunning, and they are doing their work of deception on modern-day Israel. The purpose of this booklet is not to explain why this spiritual war is being waged against God's people Israel. The purpose of this booklet is to show how a believer can resist these demonic forces and actually win this spiritual war in this life. If believers are willing to have the proper child-like attitude and Biblical understanding, then the good fight of faith surprisingly can be very simple to win! See 1Tim. 6:12, 2 Tim. 4:7.

    1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. (KJV)

    2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith: (KJV)

    I have stated it is simple, because the good fight of faith must be based on the attitude of simplicity and the humility of a little child, which will be explained soon. Also a believer must have a love for the truth of the Bible and must obey the truth! See Gal. 5:7.

    Galatians 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? (KJV)

    These fallen angels have no power over you, and they cannot deceive you unless you are deceived into obeying them. Again the key word is obedience, and if believers are obeying the customs of these false gods they are in a sense inviting and allowing them in their lives. Some of these vain customs that most modern-day Christians love to obey will be discussed later. To fight and win this spiritual war you must have the innocence and the humility of a little child! It is very important to understand that believers are in a much better position to truly repent and be obedient if they convert their thinking to that of a humble obedient little child. See Matt. 18:3-4.

    Matthew 18:3-4 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

    4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (KJV)

    Regardless of what many sincere Christians have always assumed "conversion" means, Christ gives the simple answer in verse 3. According to Christ, "conversion" means for believers to humble themselves and become as little children. More important, believers will not enter into God's kingdom unless they become as little children; and it easy to understand why. Little children will naturally believe everything their father tells them, and will naturally trust their father. Children do not and cannot understand why their father makes certain demands on them. The father does this in their best interests, and out of love toward his children. An obedient child only understands that it is much better to obey the father. An obedient little child does not question or tries to find some excuse for not obeying the father. Notice I said an obedient child, since this is not the case with most children in this liberal-minded society. In the same manner, our Heavenly Father does not explain all the details and the reasons why he wants our attention; and most important our obedience. However he has made his Spirit available to us as a help, and he does expect repentance and obedience from his children. It would be a very serious mistake to think that the Father would grant any of his children eternal life if they refuse to have the child-like willingness to obey him in even the smallest things. A believer must become as a little child in order to make use and take advantage of the Spirit of God. God does not give his Spirit to anyone that does not obey him as it explains in Acts 5:32.

    Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and [so is] also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. (KJV)

    This is why we must have the attitude of a little child, since it is only in humility that we can know of our weaknesses and our helpless sinful condition. Then in child-like humility we can also recognize the need for repentance and obedience toward our Father in heaven. Little children have no choice but to go to their daddy for help when they are in need and want comfort, and they know in their hearts that daddy has all the answers. Our Heavenly Father also has all the answers to our problems, and wants to restore his children the way they were originally intended to be. However his children must believe his Word, and they must trust him in everything. Most important they must learn not to love the vain and empty things their Heavenly Father hates, and they must have the child-like attitude of obedience.

    The Ten Commandments

    There is no one able to keep the ten commandments in perfection as written in "code" and "letter" form under the old covenant. However the aim and objective a believer must have is to develop a love and respect toward God, and to have a love and respect toward his "neighbor". This is what the laws and commandments of God are designed to do. However those that are in Christ are no longer under the judgment and condemnation of these commandments, which is "spiritual death" and separation from God. Those in Christ have the law written in the heart and mind, and do not need the commandments as they were written in code form on stone tablets. Those in Christ have the Spirit of God to guide them in behavior patterns (which is still keeping the commandments), and also helping them to determine what is truth from error and false gods. Those in Christ are serving God in the newness of the Spirit, and do not not need the oldness of the letter to guide them in behavior patterns and a correct understanding of the Bible. Study Rom. 8:1-2, 2:15, 7:6, 2 Cor. 3:6 and Gal. 5:18 very carefully because these verses do not "do away" with the ten commandments. Read these verses several times and understand them!

    Romans 8:1-2 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (KJV)

    Romans 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and [their] thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another; (KJV)

    Romans 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not [in] the oldness of the letter. (KJV)

    2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.(KJV)

    Galatians 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. (KJV)

    The ten commandments were written laws (of the letter) and were designed as lessons of obedience for "children". Did you ever wonder why the children of Israel were called "children"? The Father gave his children laws and commandments for them to live by in the same manner that responsible parents also lay down certain "rules" for their children to live by. It is in their best interests and for their own good for children to obey these "rules"! However, children do not understand that it is in their best interests to obey their father's wishes. Sadly many times these rules are not obeyed, and a disrespect for authority has begun in these little children's minds; which is very common in this liberal-minded society. It is very important that responsible parents use "persuasive" methods to convince their children to obey these rules. If these rules are obeyed then a "built in" respect toward God and a manner of behavior will be a part of their thinking, and even when they are old this respect and behavior will not depart from them as it explains in Pro. 22:6.

    Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (KJV)

    This is the purpose of the ten commandments, and why it is very important to have the child-like humility of obedience; and to understand the intent of these commandments. It is also important to understand that we were all born in an "earthy" sinful condition, which is why obedience to the commandments of God is in direct conflict with our sinful nature. This is why our "earthy" carnal mind is in enmity (hatred and opposition) against God, and we in this condition are not able to be in subjection to the law of God (Rom. 8:7).

    Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (KJV)

    My booklets entitled "What is Man?" and "The Abrahamic covenant and Baptism" explains why it was not God's intent that all of Adam's true descendants be born in this unnatural sinful condition. God's children were never meant to be born in sin and have this "earthy" birth and die this "earthy" death. This is very important to understand, and this is precisely the reason why Christ said that we must have a different kind of birth other than our "earthy" birth. Christ plainly stated that a man cannot see the kingdom of God without being "born again". The apostle Peter also stated that this new birth comes from an incorruptible seed, which comes by the truth and the word of God that abides forever. Study John 3:3 and 1Pet. 1:23 very carefully.

    John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (KJV)

    1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (KJV)

    The word "again" in John 3:3 is no. 509 in Strong's Lexicon, and as we can see it means to be born from "above". However it also means "from the beginning" or "from the very first" (2).

    509 anothen {an'-o-then} from 507; TDNT - 1:378,63; adv

    AV - from above 5, top 3, again 2, from the first 1, from the beginning 1, not tr 1; 13. 1) from above, from a higher place 1a) of things which come from heaven or God 2) from the first, from the beginning, from the very first 3) anew, over again

    This is very important since Christ no doubt was referring to a certain kind of "birth" before the fall of Adam. I believe Christ meant that we are not able to see the kingdom of God unless we are born the way God intended us to be born from the beginning, or from the very first before Adam sinned. Keep in mind God made them male and female before Adam sinned, therefore the incorruptible seed that Peter referred to in 1Pet. 1:23 was the seed in Adam (put there by God) that was meant to conceive us. All of Adam kind were then to have a literal birth into the kingdom of God. The Israelites of God have what is called a "holy" seed, and during Ezra's day this holy seed mixed (mingled) with other people in interracial marriages as it shows in Ezra 9:2-3.

    Ezra 9:2-3 For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of [those] lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass. (KJV)

    3 And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied. (KJV)

    This caused Ezra (a man of God) very much grief and agony when he heard what had happened to the "holy" seed, that he actually tore the hair off his head and beard! This is why it is so important for the Adam kind Israelites to guard the purity of their race! This "holy" seed is destroyed and rendered useless by mixing with other people through interracial marriages. Therefore this causes God's people to be "out of kind" with corrupted flesh in which God's Spirit does not and cannot dwell. This is the reason why the Father will not forgive this sin in order to give salvation to his children the way they were originally intended to be. This understanding touches on what is known as the "unpardonable sin". The kingdom was given to Adam, and if Adam had not sinned the kingdom of God would be here on the earth; and all of Adam kind would be born into this kingdom without experiencing good and evil. I believe God knew that Adam would sin, however God had to allow Adam to make that choice. This is important because God's love must return to him based on choice! The Father had a very glorious purpose in mind for his children, therefore he prepared a body to be given for a perfect sacrifice before Adam sinned that would cover all of the Father's children. See Heb. 10:5.

    Hebrews 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: (KJV)

    However the Father's children would have to choose to believe on the power of that perfect sacrifice, and would also have to choose to repent of sin. This perfect sacrifice for the Adamic sin was the Lamb (Christ) slain from the foundation (disruption) of the world, which was after the rebellion of Satan and his angels (Rev. 13:8).

    Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (KJV)

    It is very important that you read my booklets "The World Before Adam" and "What is Man?" to understand this angelic rebellion and the sacrifice that was required to restore God's children the way they were originally intended to be. The type of birth that we were originally designed to have can legally be restored to us by "water" and by the Spirit of God. It is by the symbolic "washing" away the Adamic sin by the waters of baptism, and then receiving the Spirit that legally gives us the birth that God originally intended us to have. See John 3:5.

    John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (KJV)

    How is this "spiritual" birth possible, and how can we know that we are "born again"? It is just as Christ explained in John 3:7-8. There is no visible evidence of this birth since it is only a legal birth, which is why Christ explained to Nicodemus "Marvel not that I say unto thee, Ye must be born again".

    John 3:7-8 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

    8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (KJV)

    It is important to understand that this "birth" is only a legal process since we have already had the sinful flesh and blood "earthy" birth. This is why baptism and repentance is very necessary in order for the Spirit to legally make it possible for us to be "born again". In verse 8 Christ plainly stated that the "born again" work of the Spirit is like the air and wind, therefore we cannot see it. The Spirit is like the wind, however it is not the wind as some assume the word "spirit" means. This understanding of being "born again" is also not the resurrection of our bodies which many assume that it is. It is very important to understand what Christ said, and what Christ did not say in John 3:6 concerning how a baptized believer is "born again". Notice how this scripture is worded.

    John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (KJV)

    Christ used the word "that" which is born of the flesh is flesh, and "that" which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Christ did not say "Ye" or "man" (as he did in other verses that pertain to "born again") born of the flesh is flesh, or "Ye" or "man" born of the Spirit is spirit. The "born from above" birth is the work of the Spirit of God, and we simply are not aware of it. Therefore it is a spiritual work and it is spirit, which is what Christ said. Christ was not composed of spirit when he was resurrected, and neither will we be when we receive our resurrected bodies. See Luke 24:39.

    Luke 24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. (KJV)

    However I do believe this "spiritual" birth does show an understanding about the mystery of the resurrection, which is not something spiritual or legal.

    Again I ask the question how is one "born again", and how can we know that we have the new birth? I do not believe it is something that happens "instantly" in a baptized believer's life as many assume that it does. Sincere people are deceived usually by an emotional feeling that they experience when they are taken in by a skilled speaker giving an "emotionally charged" sermon. Then with tears or a similar "moved by the spirit" emotional response they then think they are now "born again". If you will recall in 1Pet. 1:23 how Peter began his statement by saying; "being born again". This could mean a process of growing in perfection and becoming more like God in character by keeping his commandments. Keep in mind this is only a legal "birth", and it is a spiritual work done by the Spirit of God; and is determined by the Spirit. In 1John 5:1 the words "born", "begat" and "begotten" are one and the same Greek word, and it is no. 1080 in Strong's Lexicon.

    1 John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. (KJV)

    1080 gennao {ghen-nah'-o} from a variation of 1085; TDNT - 1:665,114; v

    AV - begat 49, be born 39, bear 2, gender 2, bring forth 1, be delivered 1, misc 3; 97

    1) of men who fathered children 1a) to be born 1b) to be begotten 1b1) of women giving birth to children 2) metaph. 2a) to engender, cause to arise, excite 2b) in a Jewish sense, of one who brings others over to his way of life, to convert someone 2c) of God making Christ his son 2d) of God making men his sons through faith in Christ's work

    As we can see, it has the meaning of an actual "birth", which is a spiritual process of God "making" Christ his son and "making" men his sons (2c, 2d). This is very important because Christ himself had to learn obedience, and he was made perfect through a process of suffering. Most people are not at all aware that Christ himself had to learn obedience. Through a process of suffering Christ was made perfect so he could be the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him. See Heb. 5:8-9.

    Hebrews 5:8-9 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

    9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; (KJV)

    Keep in mind Christ was born of the same flesh and blood that we also have, and was also tempted in all points as we are; therefore he had to learn obedience (Heb. 4:15).

    Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin. (KJV)

    Christ was born of a virgin and had no "earthy" sinful father, he therefore was able to resist sin at all times. Read Matt. 1:23 and understand what this verse is saying.

    Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (KJV)

    It was not possible for Christ as God to sin, however Christ as to his manhood was tempted and had to resist sin at all times. Christ was both God and man! This is very important to understand! Christ never sinned and he totally obeyed the first commandment of loving God with all of his spirit, soul and body; because God was his Father and he had perfect faith in his Father. Since Christ set the example for obedience, this is why it is so necessary for God's children to also repent of sin and deception. Christ stated that without repentance God's children would "perish", which is a spiritual condition (separation from God) that will last forever. Christ repeated this statement twice in Luke 13: 3, 5.

    Luke 13:3, I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

    5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (KJV)

    To "perish" and "separation from God" is addressed in my booklet entitled "Life and Death". Christ also plainly stated that we must keep the commandments if we are to enter into life, as it explains in Matt. 19:17.

    Matthew 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, [that is], God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. (KJV)

    The key to understanding the proper way of keeping the commandments is very important, and it has to do with having the child-like humility and attitude of repentance and obedience. The word "repent" is no. 3340 in Strong's Lexicon, and it means to change the mind, and to amend with abhorrence of one's past sins.

    3340 metanoeo {met-an-o-eh'-o} from 3326 and 3539; TDNT - 4:975,636; v

    AV - repent 34; 34

    1) to change one's mind, i.e. to repent 2) to change one's mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one's past sins

    Which brings us to the question, how do we repent? It is changing the mind to a child-like innocence and humility, and making an honest effort to obey the ten commandments of God. Most well-meaning Christians are not aware that these laws and commandments are holy, just and good and they must be in our hearts and minds to avoid sin, which is repentance. See Rom. 7:12.

    Romans 7:12 Wherefore the law [is] holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. (KJV)

    As was mentioned earlier it is not that we can ever keep and obey these commandments in perfection as Christ did. Our Heavenly Father is only interested in seeing his children have a child-like humility and the attitude of repentance and then obedience. It is the same as fathers out of pity also know that their children can never obey their wishes in perfection. All they want to see from their children is a certain attitude. See Psl. 103:13-14.

    Psalm 103:13-14 Like as a father pitieth [his] children, [so] the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

    14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we [are] dust. (KJV)

    Our Heavenly Father knows our "fleshly" frame, and that we have weaknesses and bad habits from our youth; and that we are not able to measure up to the standards of the ten commandments. As any father pities his children, so does God also pity his children that have a profound respect and a "fear" of God. The word "fear" found in Psl. 103:13 is no. 03373 in Strong's Lexicon. It has the meaning of reverent, and it would be in our best interests to take the meaning of the word "fear" seriously; since this is the only way to truly repent of sin.

    03373 yare' {yaw-ray'} from 03372; TWOT - 907a; adj

    AV - fear 59, afraid 3, fearful 2; 64

    1) fearing, reverent, afraid

    However I do not believe to "fear" God is to have a frightful "terror" of God, or a kind of fear that has "torment" which is shown in 1John 4:18.

    1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (KJV)

    To keep the commandments means that we must have a constant mental consciousness of loving and respecting God, and loving and respecting our "neighbor". Read 1John 2:3-4, 1John 5:3 and 1Cor. 7:19 carefully.

    1 John 2:3-4 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

    4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (KJV)

    1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (KJV)

    1 Corinthians 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. (KJV)

    The keeping of the ten commandments is not something grievous or hard to do, as was stated in 1John 5:3. It is a simple matter of having the humility and the attitude of an obedient little child! The reason most Christians do not take the commandments of God very seriously is because they have been deceived into believing God's law is "done away" (whatever that means). Therefore in the minds of Christians they are under "grace", and the abhorrence of sin and deception is not realized or understood. They do not seem to realize that in order for God to extend grace there must also be law, and there would be no need for grace if the law was "done away". Grace and mercy come as the result of broken laws that were committed in weaknesses and mistakes on the part of repentant God-fearing saints! Believe me when I say that God loves to extend his grace to repentant sinners trying to overcome their sins!

    The very fact that the commandments are called laws makes them binding on us, and there is a very serious penalty for unrepented disobedience. If not repented of breaking these laws, a believer could experience "separation" from God for eternity. This deception and teaching that the spiritual laws are "done away" has caused much damage and untold harm and unhappiness in many people's lives. This teaching has directly caused countless broken homes and divorces, and is tearing away at the very fabric that this great nation was founded and built upon. It is this lack of respect toward God and the ten commandments that is the root cause of the spiritual condition and deception that the modern churches are in.

    The ten commandments can also be called the two commandments as Christ explained in Matt. 22:36-40.

    Matthew 22:36-40 Master, which [is] the great commandment in the law?

    37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

    38 This is the first and great commandment.

    39 And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (KJV)

    Verse 40 explains the importance of these two commandments. All the law and the prophets are summed up and written on the premise of two precepts, which is that of loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself. This is very important to understand! I believe to love God with all our heart, and with all our soul and with all our mind (Matt. 22:37) is with our whole "being"; which is our spirit, soul and body. This concept and fact is also found in Deut. 6:5, and it is interesting that the word "might" is used in this verse instead of the word "mind" which Christ quoted in Matt. 22:37.

    Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. (KJV)

    Let us for a moment consider what it means to love God with all our being, which is our spirit, soul and body. This is what we are composed of, as the apostle Paul explained in 1Thes. 5:23. This scripture explains that we are composed "wholly" of the whole spirit, soul and body.

    1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and [I pray God] your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (KJV)

    Christ loved the Father with his whole being, and this was the mental consciousness of Christ during his ministry, since he was totally dependent in faith of his Father for everything. This is how Christ was able to perform all the miracles, healings and the raising of the dead. Christ repeatedly made statements about his Father, and that he could do nothing of himself. The works that Christ did were the works of his Father, and he was constantly being taught by his Father what to speak and when to speak. See Matt. 11:27, John 8:28 and 10:37.

    Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and [he] to whomsoever the Son will reveal [him]. (KJV)

    John 8:28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am [he], and [that] I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. (KJV)

    John 10:37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. (KJV)

    If we could love God with our total being (spirit, soul and body) as Christ did, we could also do the miracles and works of Christ. Those that believe on Christ will not only do the works of Christ, but will do greater works than Christ did; because Christ went back to his Father. This simple truth is explained in John 14:12.

    John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (KJV)

    How can a believer in Christ come to the perfection of loving God and his "neighbor" with his whole "being"? It depends on what believers obey and follow in this life, and how they are mentally focused on the one true God. It also depends how much they hate the vanity and deception of this present evil world. It also depends if they are willing to believe and respond in obedience to correct doctrine and theology. This is important!

    The first and great commandment which Christ mentioned in Matt. 22:38 actually consists of four commandments, which has to do with false gods and idols and the setting aside of one day in seven for a day of "rest". The Sabbath command as given by Moses was patterned after a six day creation and a seventh-day "rest". The ceremonial "works" of the Mosaic seventh-day Sabbath pictured what caused and called for the sufferings and sacrifice of Christ. Therefore since the death of Christ, saints must not observe the Sabbath on the premise of the seventh-day of the week. However the Sabbath command nevertheless is a law of God; therefore the saints must set aside one day in seven for God, which is assembling regularly to build the Church. The example of the early Church was to assemble and fellowship on the first day of the week (Sunday), which is not patterned after the old creation that called for the sufferings and death of Christ. The "eighth day" (Sunday) shows a finished work of Christ, and also the new creation. This is very important to understand! My booklet entitled "The Seventh Day" explains why the fourth commandment must be obeyed.

    The objective of Satan and the rulers of darkness is to deceive God's people Israel into obeying "seventh-day works", and also into obeying idols and false gods. Keep in mind obedience is worship, and what we obey becomes our god. False gods and idols if obeyed and worshipped will take Israelites away from the one true God of Israel. One of the Greek definitions of the word "idol" is no. 1497 in Strong's Lexicon, and it means an "image" either real or imagined in the mind; and it also means a false god.

    1497 eidolon {i'-do-lon} from 1491; an image (i.e. for worship); TDNT - 2:375,202; n n

    AV - idol 11; 11

    1) an image, likeness 1a) i.e. whatever represents the form of an object, either real or imaginary 1b) used of the shades of the departed, apparitions, spectres, phantoms of the mind, etc. 2) the image of an heathen god 3) a false god

    The modern-day churches generally are not deceived in obeying "seventh-day" works, although some churches of today are involved with the Mosaic Sabbath. However the modern churches are deceived into obeying the customs of false gods, such as the observance of the world's holidays. Most Christian people love these supposedly "harmless" customs and traditions, and sadly they actually are deceived into believing these customs are of a "Christian" origin. Sincere people are mysteriously taken in by the "spirit of Christmas", and the beautiful "trappings" that comes with this season of the year. All these beautiful "things" tug at the heart, which is what these "harmless" customs are designed to do! Sincere well-meaning Christ-loving people somehow think it is "cute", and they actually love to tell the "harmless" lies to their innocent little children about "Santa" and his helpers and all the reindeers. Above all, they must have the "green tree" set up in the churches and in their homes. This is all done of course in honor and reverence to Jesus Christ, and they somehow know in their hearts that their Jesus is well pleased with all this attention. However these same Christian people are at a loss to explain what all these "things" have to do with the birth of Jesus Christ. Never mind the fact that the birth of Christ was nowhere near the date of December 25. It is very interesting to discover that the phrase "under every green tree" is found ten times in the old testament, and it is always in connection with idols, false gods, abominable worship and evil practices. Sincere Christians during Easter season also cannot explain why they must face the "east" watching the sunrise, and what rabbits and colored eggs have to do with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There is an actual "Easter" sun-rise service found in Ezek. 8:16-17, and it just happens to be an abomination and something very evil in the eyes of God!

    Ezekiel 8:16-17 And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD'S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, [were] about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.

    17 Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen [this], O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. (KJV)

    It also is a mystery why parents would allow their children to be involved with ghosts and demons in a "harmless" custom known as Halloween. All these supposedly "harmless" customs and traditions are certainly not harmless! They will take you away from the one true God of Israel, and they are dangerous! The origins of all these customs have a common source that can be traced back to Cain and the Babylonian mystery religions. It is very shameful and disgusting to understand how and why these customs were started many centuries before Christ. These customs and traditions were forbidden in early American history, however they were slowly introduced and accepted into the churches; and these customs are now loved. Today in this ungodly world it would be unthinkable for the liberal minded churches not to observe all these "harmless" customs and traditions!

    The "second" commandment that Christ mentioned in Matt. 22:39 has to do with loving and respecting your "neighbor" as yourself. Why is it so important for saints to honor, respect and love their fellow Israelite brothers and sisters? Keep in mind the ten commandments were only given to a people called Israel, and it was only these people that were under the judgment of these laws. This fact is also a part of accepting correct doctrine and truth, which is also obedience to the God of Israel! In Matt. 5:43-44 Christ talked about loving your "enemy", which means he was referring to forgiving and loving your "enemy" that trespassed against you.

    Matthew 5:43-44 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

    44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (KJV)

    Notice how Christ stated in verse 43; "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy". Christ did not say that this quote was found written in the law. Christ only stated that they had heard that it had been said (not written). This quote is found in Lev. 19:17-18 and it says correctly what Christ meant by loving your enemies, which are your Israelite brothers and neighbors.

    Leviticus 19:17-18 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.

    18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I [am] the LORD. (KJV)

    During the rule of the old covenant there were provisions made within the law to balance out wrongs made by the Israelites among themselves. These were the laws that were called "an eye for an eye" or a "tooth for a tooth", etc. Christ explained that these laws are not needed and could not work under the new covenant. Therefore when believers are wronged by Israelite brothers that curse and despitefully use them; they are then to suffer wrongfully, and are to forgive and love their "enemies" as we have seen in Matt. 5:44. King David was a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22), and it is interesting to notice what he stated about those that hate God. See Psl. 139:21-22.

    Acts 13:22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the [son] of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. (KJV)

    Psalm 139:21-22 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?

    22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. (KJV)

    David grieved and hated with a perfect hatred those that hated God, and he counted them his enemies! Is this a contradiction with what Christ said in Matt. 5:44? When Christ said to love your "enemies", he was referring to those under the law that sinned against you. However during this day and age and in this deceived society it would be very wise for Christians to never display hatred towards anyone, verbally or otherwise.

    How do we obey the command to love your neighbor as yourself? Again, this commandment is made up of six commandments, and they were all designed to maintain the Israelites of God to function in peace and harmony as a free people and a nation. However since the death of Christ, these six commandments take on a whole new meaning and show a very serious truth about your "brother" and "sister". It has to do with the doctrine of the Church and the "body" of Christ. It would be very helpful to read my booklet entitled "What Is the Church?", which explains that saints under the new covenant are all members of one another; and collectively make up the one body of Christ. This is why in Isa. 42:21 it states that the law has been magnified and made honorable, since the saints are now actual members of the resurrected glorified body of Christ.

    Isaiah 42:21 The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make [it] honourable. (KJV)

    This is why saints are not only to love and respect each other, but should be willing to die for each other just as Christ died for the members of his own body (1John 3:16).

    1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren. (KJV)

    During the days of the early Church the saints had this type of love, and some actually did die for one another. They understood that they were one body with many members bonded together in love. We in this modern materialistic society cannot comprehend this type of love, however this is the kind of love that bonds the one body of Christ as an active living "organism". This is very important to understand, and saints are to learn to show love and respect toward each other in the same manner as they would toward Christ. Saints are to study and find ways to respect and build the members of Christ's body, just as if they were an "extension" of their own bodies! Simple child-like obedience to the commandments of God is the only way and method in the building of the Church of Jesus Christ. We are talking about the one body of Christ made up of many members that are bonded together in love in the same manner as an actual living body! This is why the members are to build each other, and to show real respect toward each other. We have seen in Matt. 5:44 that saints are to suffer "wrongfully" if sinned against by other members. This is to maintain the peace and growth of Christ's body, and this is what loving your neighbor as yourself is all about. This the true intent and purpose of keeping these commandments! The saints must also break away from the vain customs and traditions of false gods that the world's churches love to obey, and are to witness and testify against them. All this comes as a result of obedience to the ten commandments of God.

    "Ceremonial" Obedience

    During the rule of the old covenant, the Israelites were given commandments that were known as "ceremonial" laws. The works of these laws were designed as sacrificial lessons and peace offerings to God, and they pointed toward the one perfect sacrifice that was to come; which was Christ. When the perfect sacrifice was made for Adam's sin, these ceremonial sacrificial laws were no longer needed and were abolished at the death of Christ. It must be understood that there is a very important reason for the correct obedience to the physical "works" of ceremonial laws. God instructed Moses very carefully and in detail how these "works" were to be obeyed. There was hell to pay (literally) if these laws were not carefully obeyed according to the instructions, and some Israelites paid with their lives for being careless with these most holy instructions. These "works" were lessons that told the story and plan of redemption, however they would have been totally useless and meaningless if not obeyed correctly. Our God is a God of law (as well as grace), and Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever concerning his people Israel in showing them his plan of redemption and salvation. See James 4:12 and Heb. 13:8.

    James 4:12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? (KJV)

    Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (KJV)

    Christ is the same today as he was yesterday, and he does not change with the common objective in the use of ceremonial law now under the new covenant. There were several examples and physical lessons that Christ instructed the apostles that were given to the early Church. It is obvious that the early Church was spiritually blessed in the obedience of these certain ceremonial "works". However these "works" under the new covenant are much simpler and easier to obey than the ceremonial works of the old covenant under Moses. These symbolic and ceremonial "works" under the new covenant picture something very meaningful and precious. The "works" under Moses only pointed toward and pictured that which was precious. When that which was precious finally became a reality (the sacrifice of Christ), the "works" under the new covenant now are also precious. This is very important to understand! Since the "works" themselves are precious and easy to obey, therefore they are neatly "hidden" by the Spirit of God within the pages of the new testament. The mind of God is such that the more things are precious to him, the more they need to be hidden. If saints have spiritual minds and can see things from God's view point, this fact is easy to understand. One example of this is the observance of the seventh-day Mosaic Sabbath. By careful study it is obvious that the Spirit of God left several important "hidden" clues showing that the Mosaic seventh-day Sabbath had come to an end at the death of Christ. However the true continuing "Rest" of God did not come to an end, and since the death of Christ believers can enter into this "Rest" with God. This information is all covered in my booklet "The Seventh Day". To be a (Saturday) seventh-day Sabbath keeper means to be involved with ceremonial "works" that was patterned after God's true "Rest", and also represented a six-day creation that failed as a result of Adam's sin. Most important, a Saturday keeper is unknowingly not "in step" with the plan of salvation; and is in a sense making a mockery of the death of Christ. It is a Biblical fact that Adam's sin caused a six-day creation to became useless to God; and in turn called for the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ! We are talking about ceremonial works from God's point of view, and what they represented before the death of Christ; and what they mean after the death of Christ! This simple truth of "seventh-day works" that are no longer needed, must be acknowledged in child-like acceptance and obedience!

    There are certain symbolic "works" in the new testament that represent spiritual truths that are very serious and precious. It is by obeying the instructions of these "works" that an understanding can come to the Church of Christ, and what Christ is trying to show and accomplish with the members of his own body. One of these symbolic "works" is called baptism, and most of the Christian world of today is aware of the importance of this spiritual "cleansing". The important truths concerning the symbolic "washing" of baptism is found in Mark 16:16, Rom. 6:4, Acts 22:16 and Col. 2:11-12.

    Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (KJV)

    Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (KJV)

    Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. (KJV)

    Colossians 2:11-12 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

    12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with [him] through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. (KJV)

    It is evident that baptism is a symbolic "burial" (with Christ), which represents the death of the old self. From God's point of view, it is the act of obedience that actually "washes" away sins as was explained in Acts 22:16. The act of obedience to this precious ceremonial "work" actually makes it possible for God to see us (through Christ) as being completely sinless. This is amazing! However it is very important to understand that baptism could lose its meaning for baptized members of Christ's body if they do not follow truth, and do not make an honest effort to keep the ten commandments. Baptism "washes" the Adamic sin away that we were all born with, however only at the time when a believer is baptized. This is very important to understand! Paul states in 1Cor. 1:13-14 that he thanked God that he did not baptize certain people. Why would Paul make this type of statement?

    1 Corinthians 1:13-14 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

    14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; (KJV)

    For baptized members to divide from each other is to make a mockery of baptism, which is exactly what Paul is saying in these verses. Therefore Paul was thankful he did not baptize certain saints. During Paul's day some saints did not take their baptism very seriously, and became divided and formed other "bodies" of Christ. Saints that are baptized into the one body of Christ cannot be divided! It is a shame that this "dividing" also happens today, in which small offenses occur that causes baptized members (out of ignorance) to divide from each other.

    The method and mode of baptism is not a "sprinkling", since some of today "reason" and assume that it does not matter how one is baptized. I am not one to judge, but I do believe it matters very much to God which method a believer chooses to be baptized. God wants his children to do things correctly, especially this most important spiritual "cleansing" that represents a "burial" and not a "sprinkling". The point I want to make is that believers must obey this symbolic "work" to have their sins canceled, and if not obeyed they will be damned as we have seen in Mark 16:16. The word "damned" is no. 2632 in Strong's Lexicon, and it means to give judgment against and to condemn.

    2632 katakrino {kat-ak-ree'-no} from 2596 and 2919; TDNT - 3:951,469; v

    AV - condemn 17, damn 2; 19

    1) to give judgment against, to judge worthy of punishment 1a) to condemn 1b) by one's good example to render another's wickedness the more evident and censurable

    Another symbolic "work" is the partaking of the symbols that represent the death of Christ. It is very important for the members of Christ's body to once a year at Passover season, show Christ's death until he comes back again to set up his kingdom (1Cor. 11:26).

    1 Corinthians 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. (KJV)

    Christ instructed his Church to do this symbolic "work" in remembrance of him and the kind of death that he had to suffer. These precious symbols of the wine and the unleavened bread are taken as a memorial (once a year), and are not to be taken casually or misused in any way. These precious symbols taken in humility, actually represent the death of Christ, and what that death accomplished. Christ gave up his body in a very cruel death for the members of his Church, and the members are then to eat of his flesh and drink of his blood which is exactly what Christ stated in Matt. 26:27-28, Luke 22:19 and John 6:53. Read these verses very carefully and understand them!

    Matthew 26:27-28 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave [it] to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;

    28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (KJV)

    Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. (KJV)

    John 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. (KJV)

    The members of Christ's body are "ceremonially" eating and drinking of the tree of life! This "eating and drinking" was not possible ever since Adam sinned and was driven from the garden of Eden, because a "flaming sword" guarded the way of the tree of life (Gen. 3:24).

    Genesis 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. (KJV)

    Christ "symbolically" is that tree of life since we have no life in us unless we "eat" and "drink" of his flesh and of his blood, as we have seen in John 6:53. We are talking about the importance of ceremonial law under the new covenant, and why saints have got to have the child-like humility of obedience to these simple instructions!

    Another very important symbolic "work" that Christ instructed the members of his own body to do at the close of a communion service is known is the "washing of feet", which is explained in John 13:14-15.

    John 13:14-15 If I then, [your] Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.

    15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. (KJV)

    The vast majority of our modern churches have conveniently "done away" with this ceremonial "work" of washing feet from the holy communion service. The modern churches have managed to skillfully "reason" around this "foolish" and totally unnecessary ceremony of washing feet, because they simply do not want to do it! This custom is indeed foolish (in the eyes of the world), however so is baptism and other "things" that seem so unnecessary for intelligent people to be involved with. All this "foolishness" along with the gospel of Christ happens to be the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes! See 1Cor. 1:18 and Rom. 1:16.

    1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (KJV)

    Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (KJV)

    What the modern churches have done is that they have "reasoned" that since washing feet was a custom during Christ's day (which it no doubt was), it is not a custom in our day therefore we do not have to do it; communion or no communion. Custom or no custom, Christ happened to choose this method to spiritually "cleanse" the members of his own body, and we had better allow Christ to continue this type of "cleansing"! See John 13:10-11.

    John 13:10-11 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash [his] feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.

    11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. (KJV)

    The danger and the deception of this kind of "reasoning" is that baptism and also the communion symbols can also be "reasoned" away in the very same manner as washing feet! People that "reason" this way have just "reasoned" away the very works that represent how their salvation was made possible! When a brother or sister refuse to wash feet with other members of Christ's body they have in a real sense refused and denied Christ the honor and pleasure of "cleansing" precious members of his own body. They have also refused to wash the feet of Christ himself, since Christ is the one body make up of the many members! Whatever the innocent misunderstanding there might be concerning washing feet as being a custom that is no longer practiced, this is still a very serious spiritual business and we are not playing games with God! What is at the heart and core of this matter of washing feet is not the issue of Christ giving these simple instructions; which it is very obvious that he did. The issue and question is, will the saints obey these serious and very important instructions?! If members of Christ's body refuse to obey these instructions, then in a very real sense they are saying that they want "no part" in this "foolish" ceremony of washing feet. Christ will then have to tell these same people that they will have "no part" with him either, which is what he told Peter (John 13:8).

    John 13:8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. (KJV)

    The act of obedience to baptism "cleanses" the individual, and the act of obedience to washing feet "cleanses" the individual members together as the one body of Christ. Most sincere Christians will partake of the symbols that show Christ's suffering and death, however that is all they have done if they do not do follow through with the washing of feet. After they have shown Christ's suffering and death (which is very important), they now need to be spiritually cleansed together as one body. Washing feet is just as important (if not more) as the partaking of the symbols of wine and the unleavened bread, and this is why it is all the more carefully "hidden" in the new testament. Washing feet is only found in the gospel of John, which the other symbols are found in all the gospels. This is why it means so much to the Father for his children to carefully follow through in child-like obedience with these most holy instructions of the communion service.

    Washing feet was no doubt an every-day custom during the days of Christ and the apostles. However it was generally performed by the women and servants, and not by men that were in authority or heads of households. In Luke 7:44 Christ himself expected to have water brought to him for the washing of his feet, and a woman called Mary washed Christ's feet with tears and wiped them with the hairs of her head.

    Luke 7:44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped [them] with the hairs of her head. (KJV)

    In 1Tim. 5:10 it also shows that washing feet was a custom and a service that was done by the women. However this is not to say the women that Paul referred to in this verse did not also wash the saints feet at a communion service.

    1 Timothy 5:10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work. (KJV)

    Christ at the last supper before his death decided to choose this custom of washing feet to set the example of a simple, easy ceremonial "work" to show the "cleansing" of his own body; which is the Church. It is very important to understand that in the eyes of the apostle Peter, Christ was not a servant. This act of Christ washing Peter's feet surprised Peter, and it might even have angered him as it shows in John 13:8.

    John 13:8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. (KJV)

    Christ explained to the apostles that he was a servant doing his lord's wishes by washing the apostles feet, and he was not greater than he that sent him. This simple truth is explained in John 13:16.

    John 13:16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. (KJV)

    If a believer happens to be a member of a church that does not do the washing of feet as a part of communion service, it would be highly recommended for that believer to seek a church that does do the washing of feet. It is very rare for the modern churches to do the washing of feet, however there are still some churches that do this ceremonial "work". Generally if a church does do the washing of feet they no doubt are serious in understanding correct doctrine, and might very well be following and teaching things that pertain to the way of truth. I cannot stress enough the importance for sincere believers to break away from the causal, "luke-warm" attitude and the spiritual mode that the denominational churches are in! We had better learn the importance of ceremonial law and start considering it an honor to obey these very simple instructions that mean so much!

    There was also another custom that the early Church was practicing that is mentioned several times in the writings of the apostles. This happens to be a custom that saints do not practice in this modern-day world. However modern-day saints of today do have a custom that has the same meaning and purpose that this other custom had that the early saints practiced. It is a custom that all of us take so much for granted, and many times we are not even aware that we are doing it! The custom that was a common-place practice among the saints during the days of the apostles is this custom found in these following scriptures: Rom. 16:16, 1Cor. 16:20, 2Cor. 13:12, 1Thes. 5:26 and 1Pet. 5:14.

    Romans 16:16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you. (KJV)

    1 Corinthians 16:20 All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss. (KJV)

    2 Corinthians 13:12 Greet one another with an holy kiss. (KJV)

    1 Thessalonians 5:26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss. (KJV)

    1 Peter 5:14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace [be] with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen. (KJV)

    Whenever the saints assembled for fellowship and worship they greeted one another with what was called a "holy" kiss. Why was this very important custom called a "holy" kiss? Because it was Jesus Christ himself that greeted the members of his own body with an embrace of a "holy" kiss. Christ was demonstrating an intimate and friendly welcome to the members of his own body! This no doubt was a common custom done as a gesture of welcome during Christ's day since Christ himself expected to be greeted with a kiss, as it shows in Luke 7:45.

    Luke 7:45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. (KJV)

    The custom that saints do today in greeting each other when they assemble is with a simple handshake. This also is an intimate friendly gesture of hands touching hands that causes us to feel welcome. It never crosses our minds that we are shaking hands with Jesus Christ! However if have spiritual eyes to see, this is indeed the case; and we should never take a simple handshake for granted! When saints assemble together for fellowship and eating a meal, they are eating and in fellowship with no other than Jesus Christ! It is a Biblical fact that Christ wanted to dine all the time with his apostles whenever the opportunity occurred. This dining experience that Christ wanted with the apostles was even after his resurrection, as it shows in Luke 24:42 and John 21:12-13. This is important!.

    Luke 24:41-42 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?

    42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. (KJV)

    John 21:12-13 Jesus saith unto them, Come [and] dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.

    13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. (KJV)

    It is called the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in "breaking of bread", and in prayers. See Acts 2:42.

    Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. (KJV)

    Today true fellowship is also taken so much for granted, and we simply do not understand that it is Jesus Christ getting to know the members of his own body in a intimate way. We are called (invited) unto the fellowship of Jesus Christ. However this divine fellowship it is not only with Christ, but also with the Father! See 1Cor. 1:9 and 1John 1:3.

    1 Corinthians 1:9 God [is] faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV)

    1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. (KJV)

    This is strong spiritual meat that needs to be understood, and it is time to wake up and get our "spiritual" heads out of the sand! What is the apostle John saying in 1John 1:3? When believing saints that are following truth come together in regular assembly for fellowship they are in fellowship with God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ! Somehow we do not understand in our carnal and physical thinking that the Father and his Son Jesus Christ really want to get to know the members of Christ's body in a intimate and personal way! This is what regular assembly and fellowship with the saints is all about! The word "fellowship" found in 1John 1:3 is no. 2842 in Strong's Lexicon, and it can be summed up to simply mean intimate communication. It also means to share in anything which one has (1a). The key meaning is intimacy, and if I can get frank and open about it; it can also mean "spiritual" intercourse! See 1 and 1b.

    2842 koinonia {koy-nohn-ee'-ah} from 2844; TDNT - 3:797,447; n f

    AV - fellowship 12, communion 4, communication 1, distribution 1, contribution 1, to communicate 1; 20

    1) fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse 1a) the share which one has in anything, participation 1b) intercourse, fellowship, intimacy of fellowship

    However it is very important to understand that Christ does not and cannot fellowship with just any assembly or professing "Christian" church. There will be many that want to enter the kingdom of God at Christ's return, however Christ will have to tell them that he never knew them. The key word is "knew", and it is not that Christ did not know of them. This is important! Christ had to refuse fellowship with all these people, therefore he did not "know" them intimately. Read Matt. 7:22-23 and consider what all these well-meaning sincere "Christian" people have done for their Jesus.

    Matthew 7:22-23 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

    23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (KJV)

    They no doubt were all baptized and assembled regularly, and they worshipped and praised the Lord from their heart. They also prophesied and cast out devils and did all these many wonderful "works", which of course were all done "in the name of Jesus". Why did Christ refuse to fellowship with all these very sincere well-meaning "Christian" folk that loved to worship and praise the Lord? There could be a number of reasons why Christ did not and could not fellowship with these people, however he would have loved to fellowship with these people! This is important! These sincere people no doubt loved the "beautiful" vain customs of false gods and the "empty" things of this world. The sadness of this is, they refused to depart from vain worship of false gods when it was pointed out to them that it was wrong. They also no doubt refused to believe that they were the true Israelites of God when it was also pointed out to them. They considered this teaching as a false teaching of Satan. They looked on people that believed this "false" teaching as ignorant and deceived people that needed to understand that they are now "Gentiles", since God rejected the Israelites of old. Please read my booklet "Lost Israel and the Gentiles". They also took pride in believing and teaching that God's law was "done away", therefore they could enjoy God's "amazing grace". It doesn't seem to cross their minds that this is the very reason that Christ said in Matt 7:23, "Depart from me, ye that work iniquity"! Iniquity means lawlessness! They also no doubt considered washing feet as a foolish custom, and decided not to include it as part of their communion service; as if they had the authority to do that. What nerve! They probably partook of the symbols of wine and unleavened bread, however they no doubt misused this precious ceremony by considering it as just another casual religious formality. They no doubt partook of these precious symbols many times during a year, instead of as a memorial of Christ's death (once a year). They no doubt considered the subject of repentance and obedience to God as unworkable, and certainly not meant to be taken seriously from the heart. Deceived Christians think that the laws of God are not really laws that are binding on them, therefore repentance of sin is not binding either. They have been told all their lives by their wonderful pastor with his "inspired" messages that the laws of God were "done away" at the death of Christ. I think have made my point on why Christ will not and cannot join in fellowship with just any church or group of sincere people. I think I have also made my point of the profound seriousness for saints to correctly obey the "ceremonial" commandments given by Christ under the new covenant.

    In Conclusion

    I would like to say at this time that the Heavenly Father knows that his children can never attain to the righteousness and perfection that his commandments call for. What the Father really wants from his children is their hearts and minds, then repentance and obedience will come on its own. Paul states in Rom. 7:24-25, that he served the law of God with the mind, however with his flesh he served the law of sin.

    Romans 7:24-25 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

    25: I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. (KJV)

    This struggle to overcome sin caused Paul to proclaim that he was a "wretched" man, however he knew that through Christ he would be delivered from the body; which he called "this death". The point is, there must be a struggle in a saint's life to overcome sin in order for Christ to deliver that saint from death. This causes a saint to be in a "wretched" condition which is what Paul stated in verse 24. This struggle and wretched condition can not be realized if a saint is not sensitive to sin and deception. This is important to understand! It is not that a saint can overcome sin with this mortal body of death, nor is it possible to please God "in the flesh". The only way that the righteousness of the law of God can be fulfilled in us is to walk after the Spirit. See Rom. 8:4, 8.

    Romans 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

    8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (KJV)

    Anyone that will not be lead by the Spirit of God, and refuses to learn the lessons of child-like obedience in this life, simply will not be trained to receive eternal life. To be a glorified Son of God is to have the powers and laws of the universe at your disposal, which is impossible for us to comprehend in this life! This booklet has explained how a believer can train to prepare for eternal life. It is a matter of repentance and obedience to the Almighty God. It is to have the attitude of a humble obedient little child, and that attitude can only come with a proper "fear" of God. This "fear" of God is the key that unlocks all the treasures of knowledge, wisdom and understanding that we all need. Also the fear of the Lord is to hate evil, however a believer must choose the fear of the Lord. Read Pro. 1:7, 1:29, 8:13 and 9:10 very carefully.

    Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction. (KJV)

    Proverbs 1:29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: (KJV)

    Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD [is] to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. (KJV)

    Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy [is] understanding. (KJV)

    The choices we make in believing and understanding doctrine, and what we choose to obey in this life will determine how and where we will spend eternity. Our Heavenly Father will never force anything on his children. Therefore we have the glorious opportunity of free choice of repentance from sin and deception, and obeying from the heart the commandments of God. It is evident that the commandments can never be kept in perfection by the flesh. The author of this booklet is himself a sinner, and has weaknesses and faults that were learned from his youth that are not pleasing to God. However this author has a love for the truth of God, and realizes that without truth there is nothing left except what this present evil world offers and provides. This author also knows that without regular assembly and fellowship with saints of like mind, there would also be nothing meaningful left for him in this life. The prayers of this author is for daily guidance in seeking truth, and for saints to have it laid on their hearts and minds of the profound importance of true repentance and obedience to our Heavenly Father.