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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Preparing the Bride. . .The Ten Virgins:

Finding Absolute Assurance of Eternal Life
by
Kay Frances Graves














Matthew 25:1
 Then shall the kingdom of heaven
be likened unto ten virgins,
which took their lamps, 
and went forth
to meet the bridegroom.

The parable of the Ten Virgins compares: 
entering 
...the Kingdom of Heaven...
-to- 
...the Bride...
preparing to meet
...the Bridegroom... 

. . .for one of the greatest events of End Times:  The Marriage Supper of Christ and His Bride--also called "The Marriage Supper of the Lamb." (Revelation 19:9).  

[Take note:  The Kingdom the Bride is entering is the Heavenly Kingdom (in Heaven) . . . NOT a Kingdom on Earth or an earthly kingdom. . .It is a picture of the Bride meeting Jesus in the air, at His "appearing,". . .at the time of the rapture/departure of the Bride/the faithful, gathered Church of Jesus Christ (collected from every nation of the world).]

Contrary to what many churches now teach, not everyone who thinks or "believes" they are going to enter the Kingdom of Heaven will actually enter therein.  Being convinced in our mind that something is going to happen, will not make it happen.  This is not what Jesus taught regarding genuine "belief" or the type of faith required to inherit the Kingdom.   

Unfortunately "belief" and "faith," like so many other words found in the Scriptures, have been redefined over the years, being transformed by modern, unbiblical definitions.

The type of faith and "belief" required to enter the Kingdom of Heaven involves much more than mental convincing, fuzzy feelings, or even a thorough head-knowledge of the ScripturesIt requires a unique relationship based on the Word of God that testifies to what is actually happening in one's heart--and there will be tangible evidence of this relationship, if it is genuine.

This is the reason Jesus uses marriage as the basic theme of this parable.  When a man and a woman love and trust one another and desire to have an exclusive family relationship, they enter into a morally and legally binding interactive marriage relationship, where they are able to function in the world morally and legally as one unified body/physical structure.

From a distance, Jane Jones can think and "believe" that she is going to become the wife of John Johnson all she wants to, but until they are actually introduced, develop a friendship, and pledge themselves to one another in marriage, Jane Jones will never be Jane Johnson.

When this principle is applied to our relationship as the Bride (believers) to Christ (the Bridegroom), it becomes clear that it is not wishful thinking called "belief" or a giant leap into the dark called "faith" that brings about this exclusive relationship between Christ and His Bride.

Neither are we all automatically "the children of God" simply because He has created us.  As a result of the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden, we are all actually headed for hell.  We cannot blame Adam or Eve or anyone else for our sin. 

Blaming others is not going to change our situation.  Humans make choices every day and it is a fact that we choose to sin.  However, instead of sinning our way down the broad road to hell, we have been given a way out of our dilemma.  God has provided that Way through Christ alone.  With the help of God, we can choose to make Christ and His Word preeminent in our life. 

Neither baptism nor membership in a church nor any other religious/humanitarian organization can bring about this exclusive relationship with God.  Only by the grace of God, can we be given an understanding of His Word and the amazing value it has. 

Out of an heart of gratitude, by submitting to that precious Word and the preeminence of Christ, alone as Lord...and in response to the value of all He has suffered on our behalf to keep us from the fires of hell, we can therefore repent of our sin and be sealed in this relationship by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

When this happens, we are purchased...betrothed...bound to Christ--His concerns become our concerns and we begin to align our will with His, joining other genuine believers, carrying the message of salvation through the shed blood of Christ throughout the entire world, to those who are waiting to hear what Christ has done for them, so they may also enter into His family. . .until the day He returns and the wedding actually takes place.

The virgins went forth...

Jesus tells us in this first verse of Matthew 25, that when the virgins (i.e. unmarried women) "went forth" to meet the Bridegroom, they took their lamps.  So we understand that these virgins are going somewhere to meet the Bridegroom and this journey is going to require the use of lamps.

As we consider this, let us take care not to jump over the steps Jesus establishes to get us from point "A" to point "B" and thereby miss the importance of the details regarding this journey.  The main focus of the story is not about meeting Christ for the first time.  These virgins already know who Christ is and they are waiting to join Him at the Great Marriage Supper of the Lamb.  This parable is about what must happen after they are called, but before they can enter into the Marriage Feast.

The harsh reality is that unless we actually take the steps required to arrive safely to this event, we will not be found among the wise virgins who actually do, one day, enter into the Marriage Feast.  This is the real message Jesus wants us to receive.  He is warning us not to be deceived--we must remember to take something very important with us if we want to safely arrive at our desired destination.

The virgins knew that they would need lamps, so this is what they took when they went forth.  

What do the lamps symbolize and why did they need them?

"Through thy precepts 
I get understanding:  
Therefore I hate 
every false way.  
Thy word is a lamp 
unto my feet, 
and a light unto my path"  
-Psalm 119: 104-105

"Thy"/God's  "WORD is a LAMP...and a LIGHT..." 

WORD = LAMP 
WORD = LIGHT 
WORD = HOLY SPIRIT

Jesus verified that His Word/Lamp is ALSO His Word/Holy Spirit in John 6:63...   

"It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life." 

The lamps represent the Word of God and the Word is vital because it contains the light (Holy Spirit) that will show them "the Way."  In other words, it is the Spirit of God that will illuminate the path they are to take, because the Spirit of God resides in the Word of God . . . and Jesus Christ is the "Word" and the "Way."

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" (John 1:14)

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).

  These virgins know the value of Christ and His Word.  They know that He is also "the Way" to the Father and the Kingdom of Heaven.  But let us not forget the importance of all Christ is.  He also is "the Truth," as much as He is the Way, for we are only "going forth," if we are following Truth.  And without the Truth, we would never be able to recognize the Way or find the Life God intended us to have now and for eternity. 

Today we have a "word-fad" that is reminiscent of this idea of "going forth."  A "word-fad" is some word or phrase that is unnecessary, yet repetitiously used to fill in sentences.  One such word a few years ago was the word, "basic" and "basically."  

However, the word-fad phrase right now is: "going forward."  While it is good to "go forward"... instead of backward in life, some repeatedly use this phrase just to sound trendy and fill in a blank spot in their sentence. 

But then there are others. . . intentionally using it to change our minds about what "going forward" really means.

By hearing this phrase over and over again, they would have us believe that our objective in life is to "go forward" regardless of the cost or without considering where "going forward" is ultimately going to take us.  Certainly the devil, himself, is committed to going forward, trampling anything that gets in the way of his agenda. 

However, just moving forward does not guarantee progress or growth.  If we do not see the Way clearly and are not committed to the reality of the Truth, then instead of arriving at the imagined destination of our choosing, we may very likely lose our Life by falling off a cliff or into the pit.

The Only Way 

This is the path or "the Way" that will lead the virgins to the Bridegroom and the Kingdom of Heaven where the marriage supper will take place. 

Why will the virgins need their lamps to see the path?

This is a most important journey.  The virgins have been called and are now attempting to go forth through a very dark, fallen world full of spiritual as well as physical dangers and pitfalls, to meet the Bridegroom, Jesus, at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.  "And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God." (Revelation 19:9) 

But there is a huge difference between being "called," being "chosen," and being "faithful." 

Click here for further info regarding 
"The Called, and Chosen, and Faithful."

 "And five of them were wise
and five were foolish."
v.2

Unfortunately these ten unmarried women are not all the same.  

Five of the virgins are wise, but five of them are foolish.

"They that were foolish took their lamps,
and took no oil with them:"
v.3

The foolish virgins make a crucial mistake.  They fail to take any oil with them for their lamps.

What good is a lamp, if you don't have any fuel to light the lamp?  If a lamp does not have the specific type of fuel to function as a lamp, these virgins will not be able to follow the Way to the Marriage Feast and will be left in a very dangerous situation, stumbling around in the dark.

. . . And what good is the Word of God (lamp) if it cannot serve its intended purpose?--if it is a rewritten perversion of the Word or if the real Word just sits on the shelf gathering dust?

. . . Or how can one benefit from the Word, if it is read as just another text book, instead of being given preeminence and welcomed into the heart of a person as the actual Word/Voice of the Living God?

Considering this fact, we see how it becomes possible to memorize the Scriptures--to thoroughly know what the Word says, without ever really allowing the Word of God to penetrate our heart and engage our life or result in a genuine relationship with Christ

In other words, mere head knowledge is not enough to bring about a true conversion to Christ.  There must be a deep response to that Word, involving complete repentance, acknowledging Jesus as preeminent Lord.   

If Jesus is not given His rightful position as Lord and self remains on the throne, no conversion has taken place.  Belonging to Jesus just remains a lovely thought in our memory bank located next to the last Disney movie we saw.  To experience a genuine conversion to Christ, the power of the Word of God must be successfully transfered from the mind to the heart.

When a true conversion to Christ actually takes place, one becomes a wise virgin able to understand the value of the oil and will seek it out because she realizes that her faith to be saved initially came from the Word and the Word will therefore continue to be her Source of faith.  Faith is not something we can conjure up ourselves...only God's Word and Spirit can supply the faith to faithfully complete the journey God has set before us.

"But the wise took oil 
in their vessels 
with their lamps."
v.4

There are also five wise virgins.  Since wisdom comes from the Word of God (Prov.ch.1), we know that these virgins are wise because they long to hear the sound of the Voice of the One they love.  So they keep recalling everything He has ever done and ever said, meditating on His every Word and action, in order to find the strength and guidance they need to follow the Way He has set before them.

When the Word of God is preeminent and valued, the Holy Spirit, which resides in the Word, will illuminate the Word, providing the correct interpretation so the true Bride of Christ will be prepared to see the path she must follow to meet Him at the Marriage Supper.  The preeminent functions of God's Spirit are to teach, interpret the Word, provide discernment, and bring the Word of God to our remembrance...in addition to being our Comforter. 

One characteristic of wisdom is found in the ability to understand that life is filled with times of famine as well as times of feasting and that it is, therefore, wise to prepare.  "Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth" (Proverbs 27:1).

The wise virgins know that carrying lamps will do them no good unless they remember that their lamp (Word of God) also requires oil/the Spirit of God to light their way, therefore they faithfully pay attention to the details and bring oil for their lamps.

"While the bridegroom tarried
they all slumbered and slept."
v.5

Jesus Christ will tarryHe will give us as much time as possible and every opportunity to receive His Word, so one day we can be blessed by living forever in the new home He is presently preparing for those who really love Him.  (John 14:2)

While Christ's arrival is delayed, we find them all sleeping.  There is nothing wrong with resting while they wait, but some of them are not ready and should, no doubt, have been preparing instead of sleeping. 

"And at midnight 
there was a cry made,
Behold, the bridegroom cometh; 
go ye out to meet him."
v.6

Nevertheless, His coming will not be delayed forever.  One day, very soon, we will hear a cry announcing His return and will be instructed to go forth to meet Him.  Perhaps some of us have already heard the cry and are already preparing to enter into the Marriage Feast.

Trimming the Lamps

"Then all those virgins arose, 
and trimmed their lamps."
v.7

When all of the virgins heard the cry, they arose and "trimmed" (Greek #2889) their lamps, meaning that they prepared their lamps and made their lamps ready for that spiritual journey as the final events of this fallen world began to unfold...eagerly pressing toward that moment when they would finally see the face of the One they love with all their heart.

True love is a very splendid thing--when it is mutual.  Marriage without love is a disaster. 

Jesus died so His Bride could have eternal life.  He is not going to enter into a loveless, disastrous marriage.  Since the Holy Spirit is God and "God is love," (1 John 4:8) we can conclude that these five wise virgins are actually igniting the love God has placed in their heart as they have eagerly received His Spirit, which resides in His Word. 

This is not just a story about personal choices.  This is a story that describes genuine faith and love.  Neither genuine faith nor real love can be faked--either you have it or you don't.  Real faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).  It is impossible for anyone to conjure up real faith.  Jesus is the sole "Author and Finisher of our faith"  (Hebrews 12:2)He is the One who gives us the faith to be faithful.

For this reason, the parable of the Ten Virgins is a "So Be It" story.  Some will arrive and some will not.  So be it.  God already knows who the five foolish virgins are and who the five wise virgins are.  Nothing surprises Him.

However, it is also a "Wake Up" call for those who really love Him, but have become distracted by the things of this world.  Now is the time to focus on the most important thing in life--the preeminence of Jesus Christ and His Word.  When we really love Jesus, He and His Word will be preeminent in our life.

As time was running out, some of the foolish virgins began to stir from their slumber:

And the foolish 
said unto the wise,
Give us of your oil;
for our lamps are gone out.
v.8

The foolish became anxious because they realized that they were really not prepared to meet the Bridegroom.  Now they wanted the wise virgins to give them their oil, because their own lamps had gone out.

"But the wise answered, 
saying, Not so; 
lest there be not enough 
for us and you:
but go ye rather to them that sell 
and buy for yourselves."
v.9

The wise virgins would not be wise if they were selfish.  Therefore, there has to be another reason why the wise virgins would not give the foolish virgins any of their oil.  Perhaps this type of "oil" is not something one person can give to another, but is something each virgin must acquire herself.  Because of this, each wise virgin only had just enough oil for her own personal journey.

So they told the foolish virgins to go purchase oil for themselves.  But it was too late.

How to Buy Oil

The foolish virgins were told to go BUY oil, but in Acts Ch. 8, Peter sternly rebukes Simon, the former sorcerer, for trying to buy the power of the Holy Spirit, when he says in verse 20:

"...Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money."

This is another example where the Scripture appears to contradict itself, which is a clue that we need to take a closer look at what God is revealing, because the Word of God never contradicts itself.

If we look carefully, we can determine that this issue, at its foundation, is about using money to buy the Holy Spirit, so we must conclude that somehow oil/Holy Spirit must be BOUGHT/purchased/acquired with something other than money.

So what is equal, in a sense, to money and yet not money?

It also must be something everyone has, even if they are confined to their bed and unable to work.

Isn't time often equated to money?  Haven't we heard it said, "Time is money"?. . .and so it is.

So how can we invest our time to get the Holy Spirit? . . .and why can't the foolish virgins get back in time with the oil?

If the Holy Spirit/oil resides in the Word of God, the oil can be acquired through diligent study/extraction of the oil from the Word by investing our time/life in that process because we understand just how valuable it is. 

Money then. . . 
                       . . .becomes time
                       . . .and time 
                       . . .becomes life.

But the foolish virgins did not see the value in listening to the Voice of God, so they did not invest the time required to acquire the oil and ran out of time.  

It became impossible to recapture the time they wasted, so when the Bridegroom arrives, they are not prepared. . .and are left behind.

***Note***

     The Parable of the 10 Virgins is followed by the Parable of the Talents, in this same chapter, which serves as a second witness to the fact that God is verifying that entering the Kingdom of Heaven will require making some type of "investment." 

Talents = Greek #5007   
               = Money
               = In Israel gold/silver money
               = Again...TIME...invested
               = Time = Life invested
   
     Some servants multiplied the valuable thing they had been given (the "talents," symbolizing the TIME they had been given to extract the Spirit from the Word of God and bringing the benefits into their life).  

. . .However, one lazy servant did not care enough to use any method available to invest any amount of time in any way in this endeavor.

     . . .Therefore, even what little money/time he had been given, was taken away from him, and he was cast into outer darkness where there was weeping and gnashing of teeth.

     . . ."For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more." (Luke 12:47-48)

     Here we see a principle established in the Word of God, whereby we all are expected to invest into our spiritual life and the spiritual lives of others, according to the amount God has given to us.

              (Proverbs Chapter 1)
Only the Wise are Led by the Light:

"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."   (Jn.14:26)

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (Jn. 8:12)

~Holy Spirit~

=  Sent IN Jesus' Name
=  Jesus Name = Word of God
=  Jesus = Holy Spirit = IN HIS WORD
=  WORD = Light
=  Light = Jesus/Light of the world
=  Light = Holy Spirit
=  Holy Spirit = Light that leads Wise Virgins

"For as many as are led by the Spirit (/Light) of God (=Wise Virgins), they are the sons (Wise Virgins) of God."   (Romans 8:14)

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me (/Jesus/Holy Spirit/Light) (Wise Virgins) shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."  (Jn. 8:12)


BUT. . .it is too late. . . 

 "And while they went to buy, 
the bridegroom came;
and 
they that were ready 
went in with him
to the marriage: 
and 
the door was shut."
v.10

While the foolish virgins went off to try to acquire oil at the last minute, the Bridegroom came in the meantime and the wise virgins--those who had been prepared and ready--went in with Him to the marriage.  And the door was shut.

"Afterward came also 
the other virgins, 
saying,
Lord, Lord, open to us."
v.11

Later the foolish virgins, who had failed to follow His Word and prepare, came and begged the Lord to open the door and let them in.

"But he answered 
and said,
Verily I say unto you, 
I know you not."
v.12

When He heard them knocking, He told them that He did not even know them...They were not the Bride that had developed a deep relationship with Him through His Word...They were not among those who loved the sound of His Voice and were prepared and waiting for Him.  They were, in fact, strangers to Him.

"Watch therefore, 
for ye know neither 
the day nor the hour 
wherein 
the Son of man cometh."
...(end)...Matthew 25:1-13

Here is the lesson of Christ:  Watch.  You do not know the exact moment He is coming back for those who really love Him.  Be ready.  Be prepared.  Be listening to His Word and following His will, taking the specific path He has laid out for you, so you can find your way through this dark, fallen world to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

"And to her was granted 
that she should be arrayed
in fine linen, clean and white:
for the fine linen 
is the righteousness of saints.

And he saith unto me,
Write,
Blessed are they 
which are called 
unto the marriage supper 
of the Lamb.
And he saith unto me,
These are the true sayings of God.

And I fell at his feet 
to worship him.  
And he said unto me, 
See thou do it not:
I am thy fellowservant, 
and of thy brethren
that have the testimony of Jesus:
worship God:
for the testimony of Jesus
is the spirit of prophecy."
-Revelation 19:8-10


God is identifying the Bride with this mark of purity, specifically telling John to describe it in the BOOK/Holy Bible

God, Himself, is going to grant the genuine Bride of Christ real, tangible, obvious purity that comes by the Grace of God, through the Word of God, and the power of the Holy Spirit...via His payment for her sin through His shed blood.  

Holy Spirit-led Works

When the end comes and the books are opened, the works that the Holy Spirit has actually called believers to do will be rewarded...However the crowns believers receive will be cast at the feet of our Lord...because they rightfully belong to Him...because it is His Word and His Spirit that actually brought about these works...anything done through self-motivation and our own power are worthless rags to Him.

Only works accomplished through the specific Word of God, the leading of His Spirit, and empowered by His Spirit will qualify...and even in this case, these works are still only regarded as our "reasonable"/expected service in light of all He has done for us.

While the genuine Bride's purity is not something she can accomplish herself...because of her genuine relationship with Christ...He will give her the ability and motivation...[the Lamp and the Oil...the Word and His Spirit]...to help her prepare so she will be pure, ready, and waiting for His return:

"That He might 
sanctify and cleanse it 
[His genuine Church/Bride] 
with the washing of water 
by the Word.  
That He might 
present it to Himself 
a glorious church, 
not having spot or wrinkle, 
or any such thing; 
but that it should be holy 
and without blemish."
-Ephesians 5:26-27

How will the true Bride know prophecy?  How will she be able to discern the signs of the times and understand what lies ahead?

The true Bride is indwelt by the Spirit of God which resides in the Word of God.  It is the Spirit of God who will lead her, because Jesus Christ is the Word

Because of her relationship with Jesus Christ through the Word of God and His Spirit, the Bride knows, without a doubt, in her heart who the real Jesus is--what He has said, what He has done, and what He is likely to do in the futurebecause of the unbreakable promises He has made in His Holy Word.

***Important Note***  

          Luke 8:18:

"Take heed therefore
  how ye hear: 
  for whosoever hath,
  to him shall be given;
  and whosoever hath not, 
  from him shall be taken 
  even that which 
  he seemeth to have."   

After the faithful Bride departs, Tribulation/Wrath of God/Judgment will begin.  Those who only knew about Christ, but never had a real relationship with Him/therefore, were not faithful to Him. . .had not made Him preeminent/exclusive love of their life. . .but loved the world and things of the world. . .can still repent and be converted to Christ...BUT...then may likely suffer extreme persecution...even death for their testimony in Christ.

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.
16--For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17--And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."

*****
Also many may die suddenly after the rapture/departure, in the chaos that is likely to follow. . .so there may not even be time to repent and be saved.

Therefore. . .It would be eternally wise to have assurance of salvation NOW.
   
To find 
absolute assurance of salvation 
right now,
scroll to the top of this page
and
click on the gift 
wrapped in gold 
on the left side of the page.
Be prepared
to be eternally blessed. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Foot-Spa. . .Key to the Book of Revelation

by
Kay Frances Graves


What is "Foot-Spa?"

This sounds a lot like an Old Testament Hebraic term, but actually it is a new term I made up years ago to describe a natural method of healing I was teaching.  More recently, as I was writing about The Mystery of Fellowship, I realized that Foot-Spa could also be applied to a vital New Testament truth that defines true fellowship and reveals the key to the Book of Revelation.  It is a perfect physical illustration of a spiritual truth which Jesus, Himself, taught to His disciples.

The Physical Application of "Foot-Spa"

In 2000, I began working with plant oils--also referred to as "essential oils."  The scientific training I received indicated that the body was designed to maintain and heal itself (provided that it was correctly nourished) and I began to get a deeper understanding of the various methods of healing God intended us to use--modalities that actually harmonize with the way the body facilitates healing.

One of these methods, similar to reflexology, involves the feet.  What happens to the feet affects the entire body; therefore, a simple foot-soak in a warm tub of water has often been a favorite home remedy, recommended as an effective first response when someone comes down with a cold--because it boosts circulation throughout the body, bringing nourishment to the cells while carrying away toxins.

Since many, who suffer with physical afflictions, are not able to lie face down on the clinical table so the necessary essential oils can be applied to their back, I was taught that the same effects can be achieved by applying the oils to the feet, because God designed the feet to draw the oils into the body.

This information was very helpful to me because it meant that I did not have to always carry a clinical table into my teaching sessions.  Instead, I decided to introduce certain groups of new students to the oils via a means of application that came to be known as "Foot-Spa Parties," where students could soak their feet in dish pans of warm water and then apply the specific oils they had chosen in order to experience the effects of the oils.

Biblical References to Plant Oils

David Stewart, Ph.D., author of "Healing Oils of the Bible," has done extensive research on the naturally occurring chemistry of essential oils.  He has discovered hundreds of references to plant oils in the Bible and how they were historically used to effectively maintain and heal the body.

The Bible describes how "ointment," or a salve made with essential oils, was applied to the feet of Jesus in Luke, Chapter 7.  Through these biblical examples, we begin to realize that feet were created for more than religious anointing rituals or a means of transporting us down the road from point "A" to point "B."  There is a practical and specific physical, as well as spiritual, purpose behind everything God has created.  Nothing we do should be a boring, robotic, meaningless performance or reduced to a matter of simply "going through the motions."

The Spiritual Application of "Foot-Spa"

Lack of interest in the Word of God causes the religious to stray from faith, by the Word of God, to trust instead in a religion of works and meaningless rituals.  Those who do not embrace the preeminence of Jesus Christ and His Word are therefore lacking the capacity to understand the symbolism in the illustrations Jesus has provided.

Because they have become confused regarding the issue of how "the washing of water by the Word" cleanses believers, they turn this illustration into just another ritual which has been hidden within their own idea of good works and ceremonial practices, instead of seeing it as another reminder given to us by God to honor the preeminence of God's Word and value that Word as the vital "first works" Christ told us to remember if we really want to belong to Him.

The Word of God, like water, continues to spiritually wash and cleanse Christ's Body of Believers/True Church of Jesus Christ, sanctifying them first of all from their personal spiritual uncleanness (sin) and secondly for the purpose of maintaining purity in the doctrine of the Church, if the true Church of Jesus Christ is to remain pure and without blemish, because it is His desire that His Bride be purified before He returns.

"That he might 
sanctify and cleanse it
with the washing 
of water by the word,
That he might present 
it to himself 
a glorious church,
not having spotor wrinkle
or any such thing;
but that it should be holy 
and without blemish."
-Ephesians 5:26-27

In the physical realm, washing the feet or applying oil to the feet, affects the whole body.  Jesus therefore, gave us the symbol of washing feet, in John Chapter 13, to illustrate how cleansing by the water of the Word of God should take place spiritually in the Body of Christ.

Here is Jesus' physical illustration of that spiritual process:

"After that he poureth water 
into a bason,
and began to wash 
the disciples' feet,
and to wipe them 
with the towel 
wherewith he was girded.
Then cometh he to Simon Peter:
and Peter saith unto him,
Lord, dost thou wash my feet?
Jesus answered and said unto him,
What I do 
thou knowest not now;
but thou shalt know 
hereafter."
-John 13:5-7

Jesus tells Peter that he will not, at the moment, understand the lesson Jesus is teaching, but will ultimately realize the importance of it sometime in the future.  If this was a command to literally wash feet with literal water, there would be no need for Jesus to tell Peter this, because the lesson would be obvious.  Therefore, Jesus had to tell him (and us) that this illustration would require some time to consider. 

How much time would it take?  How far into the future would the significance of this symbolic water application go?

After Jesus rose from the dead, when the Holy Spirit came to believers, He revealed the truth regarding the power of the Word of God to them at that time.  This lesson continues into the future and is found in the writing of Paul, when he was imprisoned in Rome sometime between 60-64 A.D., at which time he first made this significant connection between water and the Word of God in his letter to the Ephesians (5:26-27--see above).

Through Paul's writings, this concept has been brought all the way through history to this present day for our benefit as well.  In other words, the importance of the washing of water by the Word was a prophecy of Jesus pertaining to the Word of God which would one day exist in written form in one completed Book (Holy Bible).

"Peter saith unto him, 
Thou shalt never wash my feet.
Jesus answered him,
If I wash thee not,  
thou hast no part with me.
Simon Peter saith unto him, 
Lord, not my feet only,
but also my hands and my head."
-John 13:8-9

Here Jesus confirms that if a follower of His is not washed by the water of the Word, he does not really belong to Christ at all.  Think about how this could fit into our idea of "eternal security."

Peter, 'the extremist,' replied, "Then don't just wash my feet, but all of me."

Peter, as usual, missed the point.  He failed to see the spiritual application of this physical cleansing.  He thought that if a foot bath could guarantee a relationship with Christ, then don't just wash the feet, wash the entire person.

Therefore it became necessary for Jesus to expound on this process of spiritual washing:

"Jesus saith to him,
He that is washed 
needeth not save [except] 
to wash his feet,
but is clean every whit: 
and ye are clean, but not all.
For he knew 
who should betray him; 
therefore said he,
Ye are not all clean.
So after he had washed their feet, 
and had taken his garments,
and was set down again,
he said unto them, 
Know ye 
what I have done to you?"
-John 13:10-12

A believer initially receives cleansing by the shed blood of Christ through repenting and being forgiven of his basic sin of rebellion against God.  After that, he only needs to wash his feet--that part of him that comes in contact with the world and picks up spiritual impurities from it, just as feet pick up dirt from the path they walk.

(So we see two different types of washing being presented by Jesus in this illustration.)

To further establish the importance of the two types of washing, Jesus provides another example by emphasizing that the heart--not the feet--of man must also be involved in the first washing...through repentance.

He knew there was one in their midst who had not received this initial washing.  The person He was referring to was Judas--the disciple who would betray Him.  Jesus could see that Judas' heart was unchanged, not submitted to Christ, and still in the initial state of rebellion against God.

"Ye call me Master and Lord:
and ye say well;  
for so I am.
If I then 
your Lord and Master
have washed your feet;
ye also ought to wash 
one another's feet.
For I have given you 
an example,
[spiritual illustration - symbol]
that ye should do 
as I have done to you.
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."
-John 13:13-16

In this passage, Jesus gives another picture of man's need of repentance and submission to Christ's Preeminent Authority over man by introducing the type of administrative structure He wants to see in His Church.  This lesson also contradicts man's hierarchal systems of religion by maintaining that:

1.  Jesus is the only One who has the right to be called "Master and Lord" (or any other preeminent religious title) because He alone is the Son of God and leader of His Church.

...All "authority" must be submitted to God's Authority...for He alone is the "Higher Power" (Romans 13).

...While men serve as leaders...the emphasis is on the Word, "serve" because God expects all men to serve Him first...under His ultimate Authority, according to His Word and Authority as Creator...or they will ultimately be held accountable for their rebellion against Him.

2.  Even though Jesus is preeminent in His position, it is His nature to humble Himself before the Father to serve those He has created.  This is also an illustration of His death on the cross.

3.  Because Christ humbled Himself, giving up His life so we might be cleansed, we also should follow His example by humbling ourselves before God, giving up our own life and desires, to invest the time it takes to cleanse one another through verbally sharing His Word.

However, from the pulpit, this command has often been reduced to a fragmented admonition to humble ourselves before one another, which is really a form of idolatry, since we are commanded to exclusively humble ourselves before God Almighty alone.  If we have humbled ourselves before God, we are certainly already humble enough to carry on a productive relationship with fellow believers and require no further humbling by any man.

In certain religious circles today, some professing Christians have even gone so far as to incorporate a literal foot-washing ritual into their official church doctrines, without any understanding of the meaningless, robotic ritual they are performing over and over again.  They do this in obedience to the doctrines of the church and because they think it is going to somehow generate humility and keep people from becoming proud.

How is literal, physical foot-washing going to keep people from being proud?  They don't know--but proudly inform us that "if you don't do what we do, you are not humble, you have violated the commandments of God, and you are therefore, not a real Christian at all.  Don't question any doctrines of the church.  Just do what the leaders tell you to do."

By engaging in literal, physical works and hoping they will accomplish some spiritual reward, those who profess to know Christ are demonstrating that the blood of Christ is not sufficient (in their opinion).  They are falsely testifying to the world that God requires us to be cleansed from sin through physical foot-washing or that this is the way we will be motivated to remember that no one is better than anyone else (except for the leaders who determine church doctrine).

As a result this has become just another meaningless religious ritual lifted from the pages of Scripture and right out of the context of the truth of what Christ was really teaching, thereby exchanging saving faith for worthless works.

If you think that these are harsh words, let me remind you that God is a jealous God.  He and His Word must have preeminence.  There is nothing we can do ourselves to take sin away or inherit eternal life.  Do you remember how Jesus rebuked Peter in the Garden before He died, when Peter dared to tell Christ that He really didn't have to die?

Jesus responded by accusing Peter of being the devil's mouth-piece and lashed out against what Peter was saying by telling him, "Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men."  (Matthew 16:23)

This was an extreme response from Jesus which illustrates His extreme hatred of anything that could minimize the importance of His mission.  He had to go to the cross.  It was the only thing that could be done to save us from the consequences of sin and bring us safely into the presence of God the Father.  At the same time, Jesus was accusing Peter of loving worldly things (doctrines/beliefs) men had created, instead of the things of God.  Here we have another example of the battle for preeminence that exists between man and God.

God hates any mention of the possibility that there could be any other way to be cleansed from sin, therefore He hates faithless works.  He calls them "filthy rags," in reference to the graphic illustration of menstrual cloths used in biblical times.  "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses ["good works"] are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." (Isaiah 64:6)

Seeking any other method of righteousness is a form of idolatry, for anything that tries to take the place of the One True God is idolatry.  He alone has determined specifically how we are to inherit eternal life and the method by which we are to overcome all subsequent evil within and from without that transpires from our exposure to the world.

Only those who are initially cleansed by the blood of Christ and forgiven of their basic sinful rebellion against God Almighty will continue to overcome and be forgiven, through the washing of the water by the Word of God.

"He that overcometh
the same shall be clothed 
in white raiment;
and I will not
blot out his name 
out of the book of life,
but I will confess his name 
before my Father 
and before his angels.
He that hath an ear, 
let him hear
what the Spirit saith
unto the churches."
-Revelation 3:5-6

Humbly acknowledging the preeminence of Jesus Christ, cleansing by the Word of God, and then sharing that Word for the purpose of helping fellow believers to also be cleansed, provides us with a perfect example of genuine fellowship.

But who wants to take advice from someone who is not, himself, submitted to Christ and His Word and does not have enough of the Word to know what he is really talking about?

Seems that everyone today wants to hold a position of authority, counsel others, or promote their own opinions and advice, but very few are actually qualified by God's standards to do so--which by the way, does not automatically come wrapped in a diploma from some college or seminary.

Today genuine Christians can suffer a lot of persecution for not getting with the church program, before their spiritual desperation drives them into the Word and they finally find their way out the door of their local "Word-less" church.

Eternal Ramifications of "Foot-Spa"

Are we taking this matter seriously enough?  Jesus tells us that foot-washing is not optional:

"Jesus answered him, 
If I wash thee not,
thou hast no part with me."
John 13:8

Those who view foot-washing as a necessary physical ritual and mandatory performance of their doctrinal obligations, will robotically carry out this command as just another type of works that they presume will guarantee their ticket to Heaven or favor with God.  But when this command of Jesus is correctly understood to be an illustration of spiritual cleansing, it will be regarded as evidence of having a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ through "washing of the water by the Word."

On the other hand, the door of Heaven is closed to those who do not see the value of the Word of God but are, instead, dedicated to their own religious works and only presumptuously professing to know Him.

"Keep back thy servant also 
from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me:
then shall I be upright,
and I shall be innocent from 
the great transgression." 
Let the words of my mouth, 
and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in thy sight,
O LORD, my strength, 
and my redeemer."
-Psalm 19:13-14

What is this "great transgression," that has the power to take control over a person?  Isn't it the common sin of "presumption"--presuming that one has a relationship with Christ, when in reality the person's words and thoughts are not really acceptable to God?  How can our words and thoughts be deemed acceptable to God?  Is it not by measuring them up to the Words and thoughts of our Creator?  This is where we really find assurance of salvation.  Doubts vanish when we are thinking and living in harmony with the Word of God.

We can wax eloquent with biblical phrases and speak popular "Christian-ese" until the cows come home, but if what we are thinking and saying is not in harmony with the Word of God, we are guilty of misrepresenting Christ and actually propagating another Gospel.

Those who engage in the "work" of measuring words and thoughts up to the Word of God are the same ones who have a genuine relationship with Christ.  Followers of Christ will be known by these works.  Their genuine relationship with Christ is the reason they are engaged in this "work."  The "work" is not the means by which they are saved, but is evidence that they are saved.

Just as Jesus told Nicodemus that while the wind (like the Holy Spirit) could not be seen, the evidence of it could be seen--cleansing by the water of the Word is also the work of the Holy Spirit.  He is the one who motivates us, gives us a spiritual hunger, and leads us into the Truth of the Word of God.

The natural man does not crave the Word of God because this is a supernatural desire that is only given by God to genuine believers.  It is evidence that we belong to Him.  "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."  
(1 Corinthians 2:14)

Gateway to Understanding the Book of Revelation

Because physical signs of the times are becoming obviously visible, many folks, like sci-fi addicts, are now frantically jumping over introductory chapters of the Book of Revelation, looking for something in the symbolism after the third chapter, which they can connect with current events to somehow divine the future.

But they may as well forget about ever being able to get a grip on the Book of Revelation or understanding the details of End Times recorded therein, if they have not approached this Book step by step from Chapter 1, verse 1, because the secret to understanding the Book of Revelation unfolds as we follow the steps.

Another thing we need to remember from the prophecy in the Book of Daniel is that he was told to seal up the book until the end of time.  "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" (Daniel 12:4).

End Time information will be given to us on a "need to know basis only" at the specific time God has ordained.

Nevertheless, this does not mean that we should not pursue as much information as possible at the moment.  There definitely is something we need to be doing in the meantime so we are ready to receive End Time information when God makes it available.  In fact, most professing Christians, because of their presumption, are behind schedule with their spiritual preparations.  They presume that church leaders and "scholars," for the most part, have already correctly identified the players in the Book of Revelation.  So because they are used to going to them for the answers to their questions, they think that all they need to do is give the "scholars" a quick read and they are good to go.

Anyway, who has the time to invest in checking out history, geography, the Old Testament or what Jesus really had to say about End Times?  If everyone we admire as a "spiritual expert" thinks that a European or modern western perspective is the way to go, who are we to doubt that and personally study an historical, mid-eastern perspective or the possibility of a combination of perspectives? 

Without understanding the totality of the Word of God, accurate history, and knowledge of current events, the pre-tribulation return of Christ and the devastating consequences of their scriptural inattentiveness will take many professing christians by surprise, no matter how much belief they put into their presumed eternal security.

Yes, many presumptuous "professors" are seriously behind schedule in building a spiritual foundation for an accurate End Time revelation.  This is exactly what the first three chapters of the Book of Revelation are trying to tell us--if we have "ears to hear what the Spirit is saying."

Jesus tells us this over and over and over again throughout the Book of Revelation, yet very few are checking to see if they really have ears to hear.  For one reason or another they believe they have found some evidence that proves that they have the "Holy Spirit," so they presume that they must have eternal security as well.  But they are really putting the cart before the horse.

They are convinced of it because someone told them once upon a time how they would see evidence of the Spirit manifested in a certain way--through some type of special "experience," so now they think that they are okay and that the "Holy Spirit" will just whisper something in their ear and because it sounds good to them at the moment, they will know which way to go.  Oh, really?  Are you sure?  Would you like to bet your eternal life on it?

It's interesting that these are the same folks who are unable to personally expound Scripture.  Everything they learn comes from the pulpit, CDs, books, and seminars.  This is what they feed on instead of the Word of God.

Since it is the Holy Spirit that interprets the Word of God and teaches us everything we need to know through the Word of God, how can we really possess the Spirit of God, if we are unable to understand what He has said in His written Word?--and how do we know if what we are hearing is really the truth?

We can know because we have God's standard for truth and a way to hear the Voice of God.  It is called, "the Holy Bible"--"the Word of God."  The real Holy Spirit resides in the Word and interprets the Word for us.  

Jesus said, 
"the words 
that I speak unto you, 
they are spirit,
and they are life." 
-John 6:63

Reading or hearing a little Scripture now and then isn't going to give us the foundation we need to discern the powerful End Time deception that is coming and, in fact, is already here.

"Nevertheless I have 
somewhat against thee,
because thou hast left 
thy first love.
Remember therefore 
from whence thou art fallen,
and repent
and do the first works;
or else 
I will come unto thee quickly, 
and will remove thy candlestick 
out of his place, 
except thou repent."
-Revelation 2:4-5  

If we don't remember what we have forgotten and accurately identify what we have really lost, we will remain lost--not because we don't have the eternal security Jesus promised, but because we were somehow pulled into that nefarious End Time movement away from the Truth of God, which proved that we really didn't know Him in the first place.

You will find this last warning in the first three chapters of the Book of Revelation because it is the door or the gateway to understanding the rest of the Book of Revelation. . .And if we don't also understand enough of the preceding 65 Books of the Bible, how do we think we are ever going to understand the 66th Book?

In Chapter 1 of the Book of Revelation, we are first told that this Book has been dictated to John by Jesus Christ, Himself, so readers will be able to understand End Times.  Jesus has chosen John because John values the written Word and testimony of Jesus Christ, the Living Word, enough to have willingly given up his freedom for the cause of Christ.  This is, in fact, the very reason John is being persecuted and why we find him writing this last Book of the Bible, exiled on the Island of Patmos.

Then Jesus says a very interesting thing:

"Blessed is he that readeth, 
and they 
that hear the words
of this prophecy,
and keep those things
which are written therein:
for the time is at hand."
Revelation 1:3

I ask you, "Is being blessed an option?  Is this a suggestion?"

"Hummm. . .I think I want to be blessed today.  No, I don't feel like reading or hearing right now.  I think I will wait and be blessed tomorrow."

Maybe it would help us make up our mind if we understood what can happen if we are not blessed.  There is a purpose in everything God tells us to do.  

In this case, by reading and hearing the words, we will be enabled to do the things that are written because the time to do these things is NOW.

So if we do not read and do not hear, we will not be enabled to do the things which are written and we will run out of time to do them.

Who else ran out of time when it was getting close to the end and the Groom was about to come for the Bride?  Was it not the five foolish virgins?

As we read this account of the ten virgins in Matthew 25, we discover exactly what it means to be "un-blessed."  Five of the virgins failed to do what was necessary to enter in and time ran out before they could go back and prepare for what was scheduled to happen next.  So they were left behind.

Do we have the right to presume upon His mercy when we do not listen to His Word?  

Because God is so merciful, most people do not realize that a point in time will actually come when it will definitely be too late.

"And he saith unto me, 
Seal not the sayings 
of the prophecy of this book:
for the time is at hand.
He that is unjust
let him be unjust still:
and he which is filthy
let him be filthy still:
and he that is righteous
let him be righteous still:
and he that is holy
let him be holy still.
And, behold, I come quickly
and my reward is with me,
to give every man according 
as his work shall be."
-Revelation 22:10-12

Importance of the Words

The most important thing to consider is the vehicle by which we are to be blessed--the Words.  This is what we must focus on--reading and hearing the Words.  The Words are the key to the blessing.  This is the "key of David."  King David understood the value of the Word of God.  He knew that this is how we are going to know what to do to receive the blessing.

When the end comes, it is going to be vital that we have this blessing.  

Furthermore, it is the washing of the water by these Words that will help us prepare to endure when most of humanity will come under the chaos and great deception spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2.  The Words that reside in our heart and mind will be used by the Holy Spirit at that time to lead us and enable us to do what needs to be done.

If you see what is going on in the world and you still are not really craving the Word of God, then I urge you to doubt  your salvation.  Yes, contrary to what the preachers preach, I urge you to doubt your salvation.

To be sure that your eternal relationship with Christ is secure, scroll up to the top of this page, and click on the gift wrapped in gold on the left side.  Then: 

1.  When you begin to crave the Word of God, start studying the Gospel of John by writing it down verse by verse and passage by passage in a notebook or as a Word document at your computer, asking God to give you something from it. 

2.  When you understand a verse, write down, under the verse, what you have learned.

3.  Then go to Genesis and begin reading that Book.  Continue reading a little through the Old Testament every day, while also taking another portion of the Gospel of John everyday, to study more thoroughly. 

4.  If you discover that something you are reading, outside of the Gospel of John, makes you wonder if you correctly understood what you learned at first, go back to John and highlight it in yellow and write next to it why you now doubt your previous conclusion and pray that God will help you balance that Scripture so you can have peace about what it means. 

5.  Do not take the interpretation of others as absolute fact, regardless how many degrees they may have.  It is fine to consider what they write and say, but always wait for God to verify what they write and say by what you actually see in God's Word.

The Vital Introductory Message of the Book of Revelation

In the beginning of this Book, Jesus verifies who He really is, telling John that He has come to give John a message for the seven churches.  The number "seven" is the number of completion, or represents all churches that have ever existed--not just seven literal churches during the time the Book of Revelation was being written.  How do we know this?

Regardless how many literal churches or fellowships of genuine believers there are in the world, they really all belong to only one Church--the one Church of Jesus Christ, called "the Bride" or "the Body" of Christ, that is composed of genuine believers who have submitted to the preeminence of Jesus Christ and the Word of God.

Jesus then identifies each church (religious group that calls itself by the name of Christ/"christian") as He outlines the characteristics of these churches, so we can examine their strengths and weaknesses, and accurately compare them with churches today.  Some of these churches are going to endure to the end and others are not--but will fall under the weight of their own corruption as a result of being infiltrated by false doctrines, proving that they did not really know Christ in the first place.

God warns us in the Old Testament also that some have the tendency to presume they are God's people when they do not really know Him at all:

In Amos 9:12, God speaks of "the heathen, which are called by my name."

This is the reason we must each seriously judge ourselves by the Word of God to be sure we understand what conversion to Christ really involves.

Because of this, Jesus again pleads with us, saying:

"Behold, I stand at the door, 
and knock:
if any man hear my voice, 
and open the door,
I will come in to him, 
and will sup [eat] with him,
and he with me."
Revelation 3:20

Jesus is standing at the door of our heart and at the gateway to understanding the Book of Revelation and End Times.  Not only is Jesus standing at the door, He is knocking.  He wants us to let Him in so He can tell us something important.  He wants us to hear His Voice that resides in this Word He has dictated to John.

If we hear His Voice and let Him in, He will not only come to us but will dwell with us in the power of the Holy Spirit who is committed to leading us into all Truth and thereby protect us from the great End Time deception.  This is a time to "sup" with Him--share a meal--feed on the Word of God with Him and is a picture of genuine fellowship with Jesus Christ.  As He delivers this Word to us through the pen of John, He is giving of Himself and supplying the spiritual nutrition we need to be spiritually nourished and healed so we are able to endure to the end and be saved.

Do you crave to be fed with this blessing from His Word?

Are you being purified daily and made ready for the return of Christ?

"Blessed is he that readeth, 
and they 
that hear the words 
of this prophecy,
and keep those things 
which are written therein:
for the time is at hand."
Revelation 1:3

Hurry. . .There isn't much time left.
Confirm your relationship 
with Jesus Christ now
so you know that 
you are eternally saved.
When you start to crave His Word, 
go to your Bible.
With the precious Word of God,
wash your feet 
and your brother's feet 
today, and tomorrow, 
and the next day,
and every day after that until. . .
. . .you see Him coming 
in the clouds
to take us to the place 
He has prepared for us
in His Father's house.

...To Read Next...
Preparing the Bride:
. . .The Ten Virgins. . .

*Click Here to Read*



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