John Chapter 13. The Meaning Behind Footwashing
We have to decode the hidden message behind events in the Bible.
The Book of Ruth tells us that God uses the rejected and unexpected to accomplish His plan or purpose.
The final Passover saw Jesus totally rejected by the Jews. The events were turbulent and unexpected. Ruth was helpless but only Boaz could redeem her. The church (symbolized as a woman) is helpless with Jesus being the only One who can redeem her.
Jonah, arguing against God and getting it all wrong, symbolized the resurrection.
MATTHEW 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Jonah, given up for dead when he was thrown into the sea, was the sign of the resurrection from the dead.
Jonah rejected his call and ran away, but met his destiny on the road that he took to avoid it. This indicated that the resurrection will always be a very confusing time. A time when human thinking and planning will be of no help. A time when we will oppose God's Word with our own church ideas as the resurrection of the church-ages saints approaches.
Saint Peter should have read these Scriptures before he argued with Jesus at the foot washing and then finally denied the Lord three times. Jonah, arguing and protesting, led the biggest revival of the Old Testament. Peter also argued with Jesus to his bitter cost but nevertheless led the great New Testament revival on the Day of Pentecost.
Human leaders throughout the ages have attempted to turn Christianity from a call to love God's Word into yet another suffocating hierarchy. Christianity is all about learning how to love. First God Himself and God’s Will, which we call the Bible. Self-will loses its priority to God’s Will. This was Peter’s biggest lesson. Then love mankind, even the Gentiles. That was difficult for a Jew.
Calvary would teach us all that the secret to winning is to lose.
Christ had performed many miracles to establish His authority. Now He puts the emphasis on his sufferings, as if that were more than all his other glories.
He never asked us to remember His birth or His supernatural achievements.
But He did ask us to remember His death.
The Bible never mentioned Him smiling or laughing. But the Bible did say that He wept. Jesus had a very different viewpoint to us.
Peter tried to correct the viewpoint of Jesus, but that was Peter’s big mistake.
Today, churches try to correct and change the King James Bible, but that is where they get it wrong.
Through the muddled ripples of everyday events the tidal wave of prophecy moves silently, but quite irresistibly on. Just as it is today, part of the events at that last Passover were a total mystery that only Jesus understood.
There are complications to truth that only the deep insight of Jesus could penetrate.
Nobody else was allowed to understand because God’s redemption plan was way too deep for a bunch of Gentile-despising, biased Jewish disciples to understand. The information was top secret in order to fool the Devil. If the disciples tried to help God’s plan, they could only mess things up. Jesus had to shake free from them for His agonizing death but use them later, after His resurrection, to establish the first church age. He also had to teach them some deep truths which included how inadequate the disciples were to face the impending onslaught of Satan.
ISAIAH 30:28 And his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err.
God was going to manipulate the events in a way that brought sinful Jews to kill their Messiah. The Jews did not read the prophecies and so committed the errors that the Bible said they would. The fatal mistake of the Jews at Calvary was that they listened to their religious leaders and neglected the Bible prophecies of their day.
I CORINTHIANS 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
But it suited God’s plan. On Calvary Satan thought that Jesus was dying. He was. But in the process He bought salvation for repentant sinners.
The disciples could only see confusing events.
God had a secret master plan that nobody knew anything about, even though the events were written in prophecy. But on the day of His death, over thirty prophecies were fulfilled at such a fast rate that people could not have kept pace with them all, even if they were searching the Scriptures. But they were not searching the Scriptures.
They just looked at a baffling series of events that were carefully planned distractions to confuse the Devil.
They, as disciples, thought that they were wise enough to know what was going on. They actually did not have the faintest clue. All they could do was muddy the water with their ignorance and unbelief. The Last Supper and foot washing would be a learning experience that they would only begin to understand later on.
We humans think we know a lot. But we cannot see how vast our ignorance is.
JOHN 13:1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
Jesus was set to die as the Passover Lamb. He would leave our physical world and defeat the Devil in the spiritual realm. He loved His people enough to die for them. No person hath greater love than the man who would lay down his life for another. Jesus endured the most agonizing death. Such was His love for us, and knowing that we entirely depended on Him, He fought the good fight right to the end.
But the enemy is wide awake. Satan had already inspired Judas to agree to betray Jesus for money.
MATTHEW 26:14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,
:15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.
:16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
JOHN 13:2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;
Judas partly believed in Jesus but thought that he could also enrich himself in the process. The secret of money-making by the church leaders is to believe parts of the Bible but then to betray Jesus by not believing other parts of the Bible. Jesus is the Word of God. To criticize or dismiss or change or contradict any Bible verses is to criticize, dismiss, change, and contradict Jesus. That is a complete betrayal of Jesus.
God wants you to believe the King James Version of the Bible as your Absolute. The Devil puts it into your heart to find some fault in the Bible that needs changing. Judas listened to the Devil and later died.
Peter argued to contradict Jesus at the foot washing and later cried, bitterly.
The lesson is plain. We must just believe what the Bible says. All of It.
Your attitude to the Bible is your attitude to Jesus.
John’s Gospel presents Jesus to us as God.
Thus John ignores the bread and wine that Jesus used to perform the Last Supper. They were symbols of His death. But God does not die and get buried. So John puts the emphasis on the spreading of the Gospel after the resurrection, during the seven church ages.
The first point that John raises is to mention how Satan had fooled Judas into betraying Jesus.
In Matthew Chapter 24 when the disciples asked Jesus about the end time, His first answer was:
MATTHEW 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
The biggest enemy that opposes the true church is religious deception. That means developing clever ideas that are not written in the Bible or that contradict the Bible.
When the first Seal was revealed it showed a conquering antichrist spirit that would take over the church.
This was the white coloured (looking pure) horse that symbolized the destructive antichrist spirit.
REVELATION 6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
He had a bow but no mention of an arrow. Thus he was a bluffer, a deceiver.
He tells you that if you do not belong to his church then you are doomed.
But there are 45000 different types of churches. All different, yet each claiming that it alone is correct. So someone is lying.
Lies. That is the secret of Satan’s success. That is his hidden arrow.
Making statements that are unscriptural.
The words of a human church leader replace certain verses in the Bible.
JEREMIAH 9:8 Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit:
Lies are the arrows of this religious church-going man with his bow.
I JOHN 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
Many antichrists. Many different unscriptural errors and opinions to oppose the truth. They were there from the start and developed into the huge swamp of different denominational church teachings.
Notice, the antichrist spirit conquers.
The western church leader who first wore a crown was pope Nicholas I (858-867). The pope rules the Roman Catholic church as a dictator and that pattern spread to the Protestants and conquered them. Now each pastor claims to be the head of his church. But no Bible verse says that a pastor is the shepherd or the head of the church.
But the Roman Catholic beliefs like Christmas and Trinity and Eve eating an apple have spread and conquered all the churches.
Today there are preachers who belong to the 45000 different church systems that know that their churches have Scriptural errors. Yet, because they need the money that their churches pay them, they either preach or defend those errors. Thus they betray the revealed truth of the Bible which is the Word of God. Preachers intimidate other people to accept their man-made beliefs based on human quotes. Thus church error spreads like a mutating virus.
The way we regard the Bible is the way we regard Jesus.
If we think there are mistakes in the Bible then we are actually saying that there are mistakes in Jesus.
JOHN 13:3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
In Revelation Chapter 4 John saw four beasts around the throne in heaven.
Matthew sees Christ as the Lion or King. Mark sees Christ as the Servant or Ox, the burden bearer. Luke sees Christ as the ideal Man. John sees Jesus as the Eagle or God with His amazing eyesight or insight into the Bible.
John's Gospel has the eagle viewpoint of God.
As God, Jesus emphasizes the deeper spiritual truths that come from the indwelling Spirit of God. Only the Spirit of God can come down from Heaven and indwell the hearts of men and women. That portion of the Holy Ghost will make those people into the image of God so that they can understand God’s revealed Word for their day. Then that personal portion of the Holy Spirit is the only way that humans can return to God when they die. Your church and your church leader cannot take you to heaven.
JOHN 13:4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
The emphasis is on “riseth” or moving upward. Spiritually that means getting above our human way of thinking. The eagle has a deeper insight into events.
Here we have an episode where we can try to see God’s much deeper insight into what was happening.
ISAIAH 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Be warned. God looks at things from a totally different viewpoint to the way we look at things.
God sees physical things as a symbol of deeper spiritual ideas. For instance, bread refers to the Word of God.
Jesus took off His outer garments. People wear inner and outer garments. Spiritually speaking, “outer” symbolizes our shallow physical or human ideas and “inner” symbolizes the deep spiritual ideas of God. So we must lay aside or take off our outer or human thinking and unbelief. Foot washing represents something that humans would never normally think of.
People are easily distracted by giving a trivial physical importance to this foot washing, as if it was merely to wash off dust or illustrate being humble. But the other Gospels do not mention the foot washing. This event was reserved for John’s Gospel so it must be interpreted by the amazing eagle eyesight that reveals a deep, hidden meaning. This event must be understood as a deep spiritual insight into the future of the church ages that the disciples have to establish.
Jesus would also lay aside His human body as He died on the cross and then go down into hell as the Holy Ghost of a dead Man to defeat Satan and win our redemption.
Then at His resurrection He laid aside His grave and then laid aside the Old Testament graves as He brought up His Old Testament saints with Him. They had believed that their animal sacrifices represented the sacrifice of a future Deliverer. Thus they were the first to benefit from His cruel death and glorious resurrection.
Jesus has trained the disciples as apostles so that they would be able to start setting up the conduct and doctrine of the first church age, based on believing in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. They would have the main task of laying a foundation for the church that all future church ages will have to try to follow.
But, sadly, after the original apostles all died, the deception of the church leaders would guide the church into the Dark Ages of unbelief.
Finally, at the end-time, a Gentile prophet like Elijah (called Elias in the Greek) would restore the last church age back to the beliefs of the first church age that these apostles helped to establish.
MATTHEW 17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
People say that Jesus was washing the dust off their feet. They did that when they entered the outer door of the house. Not when they were inside and supper was over. This kind of human thinking trivializes the event.
Another shallow interpretation is to say that Jesus was showing them how to be humble. No, that was not the main reason because in verse 7 Jesus says, "What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter”.
Peter could understand humility. We need to track down what it was that Peter still had to understand.
Peter did not understand that the Gentiles could get saved. Peter did not understand that there was to be a Gentile church.
After His resurrection, Jesus spoke to Peter three times. This was to be a strange repetition.
Peter was the fisherman. God wanted him to pull in the Gospel net first for the Jews, then for the Samaritans, and then for the Gentiles.
JOHN 21:15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
God’s original children, the Jews.
:16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
The Samaritans were part Jew and part Gentile.
:17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
This was the tough one for a Jew. God was reaching out to the Gentiles?
God sees mankind as divided into three groups. Jews, Samaritans ( part Jew, part Gentile ), and Gentiles.
Peter was told to feed the sheep three times. Jew and Samaritan made sense, because they were two groups that Jesus had dealt with. But why did Jesus repeat His instruction three times?
Peter would have had to recall an earlier statement that Jesus had made.
JOHN 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
Jesus dealt with the Jews and Samaritans when He was on earth. If there were other sheep as well, He must have been referring to Gentiles.
Gentiles! No decent Jew wanted to have anything to do with a Gentile.
Peter needed a lot of convincing if he was to take the Gospel to Gentiles.
So God made Cornelius, a Gentile Roman, send three men to ask Peter to come to his house in Joppa, a port on the border of Samaria and Judaea. ( Jew, Samaritan, and Gentile all met in this city ).
While the men were coming, Peter got a vision, three times, about not calling any animals unclean.
Three times. It took a lot of hammering to get this idea in Peter’s head.
ACTS 10:9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:
:10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,
:11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:
:12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.
:13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
:14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
:15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
:16 This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.
Peter had rejected the Gentiles, especially the Roman conquerors, all his life.
But he saw the vision three times.
If he claimed that the vision was false, then he would have to deny the vision three times.
But that raised the painful memory of when he had denied Jesus three times before the cock crowed.
He never wanted to repeat that awful experience again.
So Peter began to change his mindset towards the Gentiles.
:17 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate,
Peter went to the house of Cornelius the Gentile and Peter said to Cornelius
ACTS 10:28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
Peter preached to the Gentile family and friends of Cornelius.
Then the Holy Spirit fell on Cornelius and all the Gentiles in his house.
This was the deep lesson that Peter could not understand at the foot washing, but would understand later.
ACTS 9:31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
:32 And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all quarters, he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda.
Peter passed through all Galilee, Samaria, and Judaea eventually ending in Lydda before finally going to Joppa.
Joppa (beautiful) was a port on the border between Judaea (the Jews) and Samaria (the Samaritans).
ISAIAH 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation;
The Gospel of salvation is associated with beauty and with feet. Feet always represent the seven church ages.
In Joppa, there was the first recorded outreach to the Gentiles when Peter had preached to Cornelius the Gentile and then raised Dorcas, a young maiden, from the dead.
She was a symbol of the new church that would come alive in Christ.
The Jews took the Gospel to the Gentiles. That is what Peter could not understand at the time of the foot washing.
So Peter had preached the Gospel like a fisherman, pulling in Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles.
Then Paul the tentmaker took over as he sewed together the Old and New Testaments, cleverly joining Law and Grace together.
Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles. He launched the missionary journeys that would spread the Gospel far and wide. The Gentile church had its foundation laid in that first church age.
So what did that have to do with foot washing?
Gentiles and feet.
Those two ideas are linked in the dream that Nebuchadnezzar had about a Gentile image.
The head of gold was Babylon, destroyed around 536 BC by the Medes and the Persians.
The chest and arms were the Medes and Persians who were destroyed by Alexander the Great around 330 BC.
The legs of iron were the Roman empire.
The bits of iron in the feet refer to the rise of Roman Catholicism as the Roman empire collapsed. The Roman church picked up the power that the Roman emperor lost.
So when Peter asked for his head and hands to be washed, Jesus refused because that would imply that the old Babylonian empire and the old Medes and Persian empire could be converted by the Gospel. That was impossible as those people were already long since dead.
Salvation during those Old Testament times was a scarlet cord that ran outside the Gentile kingdoms. God saved only the Jews with their Temple worship and any Gentiles who converted to the Jewish faith.
But things would change at Calvary.
Salvation would cross over from the Jews, who rejected Jesus, and go to the Gentiles.
Thus the scarlet cord of salvation would enter the Gentile image at the heel and run through the feet to the toes.
The heel thus represents the crucial portion of the Gentile image.
The greatest Greek fighter Achilles was killed by an arrow that hit his heel. Hence our expression of “Achilles heel” for any point of weakness. So God Himself became a Man in order to be the heel of the Gentile image. The heel, supposedly the weak part where Satan thought he could win at Christ’s death on the cross, thus became the strength of the Gentile church as Satan suffered his biggest defeat.
II CORINTHIANS 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Let us go back to the foot washing.
JOHN 13:4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
Girding implies being strongly prepared. Christianity is based on the forgiveness of sin. The pardoning of my past sin should strengthen me against today’s temptations. What God has taught me in the past should strengthen my desire to learn more of the hidden Bible mysteries.
He used a towel.
“Throwing in the towel” is a symbol of defeat. But Jesus girded Himself with a towel as a symbol of a determined effort. There was work to be done. The real work was to spread the Gospel world wide.
In addition, what is most important, when we see our Master serving, we realize how bad it is for one person to try to domineer others.
Elevated human leadership that conquers the church members or laity (the doctrine of the Nicolaitans) would be the major downfall of the church.
JOHN 13:5 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.
Water is the reason that there is life on earth. But 97,3 % of water is salt water in the sea, undrinkable.
The sea represents the restless masses of humanity. They are the vast majority.
Of the 2,7 % of fresh water, two thirds is locked up in the polar ice caps and the frozen mountain glaciers.
Less than one tenth of one percent of the fresh water is available to us in lakes and rivers.
Recently we have been able to drill down and extract water from underground aquifers.
So fresh water is incredibly scarce and easily polluted. This tells the story of the Gospel. Genuine Christians are a small minority and false teachers are polluting the Gospel waters with their man-made commandments.
What hidden meaning lay behind the simple act of washing feet? Remember, the disciples would have washed their feet at the door when they entered the house. So why wash them again?
JOHN 13:6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?
Peter’s first mistake.
He questions what Jesus is doing, as if Jesus is making a mistake.
Church people make the same mistake. They question why certain verses are in the Bible. They think they can reject the verses that they do not understand.
Peter, the impulsive man, wants to know what this is all about. Washing clean feet makes no sense to him.
Instead he should have wondered what Jesus, this amazing Thinker, was trying to tell them?
But because Peter did not understand, he immediately questioned and rejected the idea. Our typical silly, human response.
JOHN 13:7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.
Jesus makes His first statement: You do not know what I am doing now. But you will understand later on.
Peter was too ignorant of God’s Big Picture to understand what is going on. But he would learn in the future what it meant.
Peter, typical of a human being, tries to argue with Jesus. Just like us arguing with Scriptures that do not suit our theories.
The first coming of Jesus was reaching its climax and something was happening that the disciples could not understand.
We must remember this.
As the second Coming of Jesus approaches there will be seven Thunders and the seventh Seal that are not written that we will not be able to understand until they happen.
But like Peter, people will not accept our ignorance on these issues and will keep demanding answers, even if they have to make up our own theories.
God told John not to write the seven Thunders.
Now message –believers foolishly point to issues that are written in the Bible in order to explain the mysteries that are not written in the Bible. Why tell John not to write them if they are already written?
Very shallow thinking indeed.
The dumbing down of the message people.
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.
Peter’s second mistake. He tells Jesus what He cannot do. People think that they can improve on the Bible by removing bits of Scripture that do not suit their thinking.
Today’s churches make the mistake of thinking that there is no end time prophet to the Gentiles. They just remove that part from God’s plan. By believing Trinity they remove God’s name as you cannot find one name for three Persons. Message people remove the voice of the seventh angel by calling him the Voice of God.
Back to the foot washing.
Peter is baffled. He knows Jesus is not talking about humility because anyone can understand that.
So Peter refuses to have his feet washed as it makes no sense to him.
But Jesus gives a surprising answer. Reject what I am doing and you have no part in the future of God’s Big Plan of salvation.
Peter’s third mistake.
He tells Jesus what to do.
He wants to add on extra bits to improve on what Jesus said.
Do not just wash my feet, wash my hands and head also. Humans are foolish enough to add extra bits to the Bible like Trinity and God the Son and Third Person of the Godhead etc.
JOHN 13:9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
Now Peter responds like the Muslims do. Wash my head, my hands, and my feet. That makes more sense from a human point of view. That will make him a lot more physically cleaner. But Jesus had taken off His outer robe to indicate that we must get rid of our human thinking on this matter. Foot washing does not have to do with being humble or being physically clean. A much deeper vision is involved.
Washing his head and hands was pointless because at the end time the church would fall for man-made denominational beliefs which are the mark of the beast. This mark of church traditions is in the forehead as it dominates our thinking or in our hands as it controls our actions. We then belong to the church, not to Christ. But we forget that God said He would vomit the church out of His mouth.
REVELATION 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;
:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
REVELATION 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
Yet people huddle in the church for safety, instead of finding safety in Scripture.
JOHN 13:10 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.
The second statement of Jesus. You only need to have your feet washed in order to be clean from sin.
The feet are linked to the path that we walk on. This is the key idea.
Are we able to walk on God’s predestinated path as He reveals the truth during the seven church ages.
Where are we in God’s Big Picture?
Do we have a revelation of what is written in Scripture, or are there still too many verses that we do not properly understand?
Now we get to the deeper issue of sin.
Sin has two levels.
Sin involves evil motives, thoughts, and actions that we humans commit. We can only resolve that by repentance and asking God to forgive us.
But look at the surprising answer of Jesus. If your feet are clean then you are perfectly clean.
What on earth is He getting at?
So there is a deeper level of sin which is unbelief.
Not believing what is in the Bible, even if you live an impeccably upright life.
Believing and following the revealed Bible for our day and church age is God’s major concern for us. Can we rise above the bondage of church doctrines that holds us in the chains of Bible ignorance.
The feet of the Gentile image represented the seven church ages. That was the only part of the Gentile image that could be washed by the water of the Word.
The head, chest, belly and legs had already passed away in history and could not be saved by the Gospel.
DANIEL 2:41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
Daniel saw the image feet had miry clay. Wet clay.
Clay that had been washed in water.
This was the symbol of the true church. The seed of life can only grow in wet clay, not in iron. Water represents God's Word.
Judas was not believing in what Jesus was planning to do. Judas was an apostle, a leader, yet he was introducing his own ideas into God’s plan. Greed for money was his motivation. He really thought that he could serve God by following his own thoughts. This is a typical failure of human church leadership who serve God according to their own man-made beliefs.
JEREMIAH 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
We humans do not understand God’s Big Picture.
Thus we have to carefully stay with what the Bible says.
Instead of staying with Jesus, the disciples would desert Jesus when He stood alone at the judgement seat of Pontius Pilate.
After the last supper, Peter insisted on arguing with Jesus.
Staying with the written Scripture in the confusing end-time events is the hardest test for us to follow.
There are too many plausible interpretations of quotes that lead us away from written Scriptures.
There are too many plausible and charismatic church pastors that dominate their churches with their different beliefs that are clever but not proven from Scripture.
Thus no church remains strictly Scriptural because the self-elevated pastors are themselves unable to explain many Scriptures.
That is why they have deserted the written Bible and found their refuge in a swamp of carefully selected quotes that suit their own ideas.
This enabled many message-preachers to predict that Hillary would win the 2016 American Presidential election. They got that wrong. It was a warning from God that they are on the wrong track. But the warning was ignored.
How many mistakes did Eve make before she was thrown out of Eden?
We need to check carefully with Scripture because Jesus warned us about being deceived.
And the deceiver, Judas, was right there in the inner circle of the new church.
JOHN 13:11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.
Hypocrites profess to believe the Scriptures, but not all of the Scriptures.
Where it suits them they will substitute quotes and popular opinions. Those who deny and contradict Scripture are more popular and thus easily able to develop their own material gain.
This applies to preachers and church leaders as Judas was an apostle.
When Jesus was rejected at the judgement seat of Pontius Pilate, then Barabbas (which means the son of his father) who was a liar and a murderer (being the son of the Devil) rose to great popularity amongst the crowd.
In order to be popular, people oppose what the Bible says.
Look what Jesus says to our last church age. It is the age of the people, the Laodiceans themselves. Churches feel that they have the right to make up their own Bible interpretations.
REVELATION 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;
That is why there are 45000 different types of churches today.
REVELATION 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
If we believe the Bible we are hot. If we ignore, contradict, do not understand, or change Bible verses then we are cold. Lukewarm is what God hates.
We are lukewarm if we believe some Bible verses and then in other places we make up our own beliefs, like Hillary winning the election. Then God responds by vomiting that church out of His mouth.
We have to stay strictly with Scripture.
DANIEL 11:26 Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him,
Meat is doctrine. Those who only eat and believe some of the Bible doctrines and then have no Scripture for their other religious speculations are very destructive.
JOHN 13:12 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?
The disciples did not know.
They also did not admit that they did not know.
Ask a church-goer a question that he or she does not know and they dodge the issue. They are scared to admit their ignorance. They are scared to learn from someone who is outside their church.
But Jesus emphasized this point to show them how important it was for them to obey Him, even if they only understood later.
Jesus now emphasizes the importance of what foot washing means. He had told Peter that he would only understand later what it meant. Now He asks if they understand. The obvious answer is that they did not. But by stressing the importance of foot washing, the disciples must expect God to teach them what it involves at a later stage.
This is something that they need to know. Jesus, as the Master or Schoolmaster, would later reveal the basis of this mystery to Peter so that he could start to get the early church on the right foundation for the seven church ages that lay ahead.
Peter was a fisherman. He had a key role to play. He had to open the Door to heaven for the three groups of people that are on earth: Jews, Samaritans (part Jew, part Gentile), and Gentiles.
He was to pull in the Jews on the Day of Pentecost with his amazing sermon.
But Peter had no time for Gentiles. They were dogs in the eyes of the Jews. So Peter had much to learn about his future ministry.
Saint Paul taught the early church that there were still ages to come.
He saw the church as a spiritual heavenly body that would be raised up above human thinking and planning and scheming. There would be a heavenly blueprint that would unfold over the years. The true church would be those who lined up with God’s Word. Not those who increased in wealth and numbers and importance and thus looked impressive to the people who were easily deceived.
EPHESIANS 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Paul then told us that the church would move through future ages as the centuries rolled by.
EPHESIANS 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
As a hint, he mentioned that there would be “ages to come” in verse 7.
For those who could spot the clues, they would realize that there would be 7 church ages as listed in Revelation Chapters 2 and 3.
This linked in with the 7 baskets of rejected bread that the disciples collected when the Jesus fed the 4000 men. Bread is doctrine. These scraps were rejected by the Jews. Thus the Jews would reject the Gospel at Calvary. The disciples would then collect the rejected Gospel into the New Testament that would form the foundation that would feed the church for the oncoming 7 church ages.
The 7 also linked up with the 7 branched candlestick that was the only light in the holy place of the Tabernacle of Moses.
The central flame was the first church age. As it moved to the right the light got dimmer as the church moved into the Dark Ages. Then starting on the left, Luther began the Reformation and the church moved closer to the original New testament church. At the end, the seventh church must be the same as the first church.
John, in Revelation Chapters 2 and 3, saw the seven candlesticks as seven churches that described the history of the church as it moved through seven distinct periods of time. The sixth church of Philadelphia had an open door which is a lovely symbol of the missionary age that started just before the year 1800. The seventh church age started with the Pentecostal revival of healing and speaking in tongues just after the year 1900.
This age described the church as speaking when it says, “I am rich and increased in goods”.
Sadly, material wealth became the focus of the final church age.
When the seventh church speaks, it is only to praise itself.
Listen to modern church-goers speaking and their main thrust is to praise their specific church and pastor.
But there are 45000 different kinds of churches, all praising themselves and all moving in different directions. This is a real spiritual swamp.
JEREMIAH 23:1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.
:2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.
You do not want to be a pastor when Jesus returns.
They have messed up wholesale according to this prophecy.
Christ is the Head of the church. The believers are His Body.
The head is collected to the body by the backbone or spine.
The top seven vertebrae form the neck. This represents the Bride in seven church ages. The next 12 vertebrae hold the ribs. This represents the 144000 Jews from the 12 tribes of Israel.
The truth of God that the disciples were to establish in the New Testament was to guide the church through the seven church ages and then be picked up by the 12 tribes of Israel as 144000 Jews return to Christ in the Tribulation time.
These Tribulation Jews receive the Gospel that the Jews rejected at Calvary. That was illustrated when Jesus fed the 5000 men with bread and meat (which represent doctrine) and those Jewish men rejected 12 baskets of scraps to symbolize the Jews rejecting the Gospel.
The 12 baskets represent the 12 tribes of Israel who return during the tribulation to the Gospel that the Jews had rejected at first.
It takes the Tribulation to get the Jews to change their minds about Jesus.
Hard times also help us to believe in Jesus.
In the Holy Place of the Tabernacle there was the seven branched candlestick representing the 7 church ages.
There was also the table of shewbread with 12 loaves that had to be eaten in the Holy Place. So the Jews had to be brought back to their Promised Land in order to get ready for Messiah.
Saint Paul continues that God alone can give us the faith we need to believe in Him.
EPHESIANS 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Each church age is treated like an individual. We are entirely dependent on the grace of God to open our eyes as to what is happening in our specific church age. Only by checking with the Bible can we determine if we are on the right track or not.
In the last church age it is not enough to repent and be saved from hell. That is an essential step but it does not save us from the oncoming Tribulation.
Unless we have a clear revelation of the Bible we will be deceived into some variety of denominational or church belief which will guide us into the Tribulation.
When saved Christians face death in the Tribulation, their lament will be :
“If any question why we died,
Tell them, because our pastors lied”.
(With apologies to Rudyard Kipling).
EPHESIANS 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Peter made a self-praising claim to be brave.
It is not of human works. Belonging to a certain church. Going to church every Sunday. Working hard for church events. Agreeing with everything that the elevated pastor says. All those works are not going to help us to escape the Tribulation.
Elders were supposed to rule the church according to the doctrine of the apostles, not a pastor or bishop.
I PETER 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
I PETER 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
ACTS 20:17 And from Miletus he (Paul) sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.
ACTS 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
ACTS 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
A wolf will take command of a flock of sheep, and destroy them.
The sheep must not have a one-man leader but a group of elders who meet as equals.
JOHN 13:13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
Here Jesus puts the emphasis on Himself as Head of the church. No man can intrude by calling himself the head of a church.
Jesus is the Master who is in charge.
As Lord, Jesus is the supreme Boss.
Nobody is free to argue with Him. Nobody can correct Him. He is to be obeyed without questioning. Jesus is the Word.
So that must be our attitude to the Bible.
Peter had got off to a bad start. He had questioned Jesus, tried to stop Jesus, and then added to what Jesus wanted to do.
It does not get much worse than that.
But that is, sadly, the way church leaders typically behave towards the King James Bible. Just re-translate it, modify it, ignore verses, contradict verses, and claim that there are errors in the Bible. What they say about the Bible is what they are actually saying about Jesus. He is flawed, He is wrong, He needs to be corrected. That is simply antichrist unbelief.
Speaking of the Jewish religious leaders Jesus said:
MATTHEW 23:6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
Human religious leaders love to be elevated in public with special chairs in the front of the church to show their importance and superiority over the assembled people. But Jesus is not impressed by this elevation of human leaders. Many churches have elevated platforms in front to emphasize the elevation of the preachers.
Jesus is not impressed with elevating humans. He draws attention to Himself. He is the only important One.
MATTHEW 23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
Jesus is adamant. The disciples who were chosen to be apostles must not be called master. They were to write down the inspired Word of God in the New Testament. Then the Bible would be our only Master, as the Bible is the Word and the Word is God.
MATTHEW 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
Great men, even if they wrote the Bible, are still servants.
The main calling of any preacher is simply to inform the people of the revealed Word of God. A servant conveys the orders of the Master, Jesus.
A servant does not add in his own opinions and traditions. He merely transmits the revealed information from the Bible to the people.
Preachers are servants. They are not to dominate the people.
JOHN 13:14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
There is a deep and special significance to foot washing.
Washed by natural water is a symbol of the Scripture washing away our unbelief to enable us to follow the revealed Word of God for our day. The water represented the Word of God. It washed away the sin of unbelief which stops us walking in the plan or path of God.
JOHN 13:15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
We should do as Christ did. We wash feet physically in order to symbolize that we are to wash away the unbelief of others by pointing them to what is written in the Bible.
EPHESIANS 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
The feet of the Gentile image represent the seven church ages that are washed in the water of the Word.
Judas preached and followed Jesus for gain. Jesus however, offered Himself as a Sacrifice for the church. Jesus gave rather than gained.
Jesus was the Giver. The Giver gave of Himself. He desired no material gain for Himself. He lived a tough life of apostolic poverty.
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.
All disciples and preachers are servants. No servant, no preacher is greater than Jesus.
No servant should aim to grow rich off the Gospel.
No servant or preacher can be compared to Jesus.
You cannot promote William Branham to being the Voice of God. Scripture describes him as being the voice of the seventh angel.
He came to reveal the Word of God. He did not come to replace the Word of God.
You cannot replace Scriptures with quotes. You can only use quotes to point to the Scriptures so that the Scriptures can explain themselves.
JOHN 13:17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
What responsibility do we indicate when we wash another’s feet?
Our calling is to wash the feet of others in the water of the Word. Point out to others what the revealed Scriptures say on a topic so that you can guide the feet of individuals down the true pathway.
JOHN 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
The only way to God is through the Word of God.
The revealed truth of Scripture will guide us down the way that God wants us to go. That is the only way to find life. Following the church ways will guide us to death in the Tribulation. Why?
Because Jesus now stands outside the church.
REVELATION 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;
Jesus mentions no exceptions. So His indictment describes every church. Including yours.
REVELATION 3:20 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 with him, and he with me.
He appeals only to an individual in a church, not to the church itself, as He vomits the church out of His mouth, His Word. Thus no church is strictly Scriptural. Fortunately the Bible does not say that He vomits every individual out of His mouth.
God first started dealing with the Jews and the scarlet cord of salvation ran outside the Gentile kingdoms, as seen by king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in a dream.
The key part of the Gentile image was the heel. This is where salvation entered the Gentile image.
JOHN 13:18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.
Again we have this awful warning. Bread is doctrine. Those who have shared some of the Bible doctrines will be those who betray the Word. The main enemy of truth is not Islam, the communists, atheists etc.
These groups are enemies of Bible truth but the main damage to truth is done by those who have believed part of the Bible and then opposed other parts of Scripture.
“Lifted up his heel”. Again the image is of the foot. There is something very deep and profound about these references to the foot.
GENESIS 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
This is the first prophecy concerning the battle between good and evil in the Bible.
The woman’s Seed is Christ, a Man Who had no human father. Their great clash came at Calvary.
GENESIS 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Cain is never called the son of Adam and is not listed in the Book of Chronicles.
Eve was punished for being pregnant. Her conception was the sin. Adam could not be the father as a wife conceiving from her husband would not have been considered a sin.
So she conceived from the serpent, who was the highest mammal between ape and man. The seed of the serpent is the male sex cell that looks like a snake.
Born of sex we all have a belly button which is the mark of the beast on our bodies. That mark means we die. Thanks to Eve and the serpent the beast nature entered the human race. Many humans behave just like animals.
Sex was the original sin that caused the fall. We still use the term “to fall pregnant”.
If we have the mark of the beast in our minds which are in our foreheads, then we are unscriptural in many of our beliefs and on our way to hell.
The fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil represents sex which is good within marriage but evil outside of marriage. Cain, who had no human father, was the first seed of the serpent. He was a liar and a murderer, just like Barabbas.
Then Adam knew Eve (carnal knowledge is sex). Then twins were born. Cain (evil) and Abel (good).
GENESIS 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.
:2 And she again bare his brother Abel.
One sex act by Adam and twins were born. But Eve was already pregnant from the serpent. That is why she said Cain came from God. All life comes from God. She did not claim that Cain came from Adam.
PROVERBS 30:20 Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.
Eve committed adultery with the serpent but claimed to have done no wrong and said that Cain came from god. Eating sends food to the belly. Sex causes the baby to swell up the mother’s belly. So both end up affecting the belly. Thus eating is a symbol of sex.
At Calvary, people born of sex (the serpent’s seed) vented their hatred on the virgin born Jesus Who is the woman’s seed.
God created a Seed in her womb. It came from no man. Thus that Seed belonged to the woman.
Lucifer stood behind the throne of God in heaven. Though invisible, his glory covered the throne.
EZEKIEL 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth;
Most of the angels began to worship this unseen, glorious chief angel. He rebelled and God turned him into the Devil.
When Peter contradicted Jesus, look at the reaction he got from Jesus.
MATTHEW 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, 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.
Satan’s original place, when he was Lucifer, was behind Jesus.
If you contradict Jesus, Who is the Word, you are a devil.
Only Satan contradicts Jesus, Who is the Bible or Word of God.
Now Judas was to lift his heel by helping to get Jesus lifted up on the cross.
Let us make a picture of this.
Jesus thus formed the heel of the Gentile image where Jew and Roman Gentiles met to try to destroy Jesus. It was also where the Old and the New Testament met.
Achilles was the Greeks greatest fighter but a poisoned arrow in his heel killed him. The Achilles heel is the weakest point. So Jesus became the heel in the image, where the serpent coming up behind bit Him. But the poison only bruised His heel because He is sinless and stopped Him walking for a while as His body lay in His tomb. But on the third day, Sunday, He rose again.
However the serpent suffered a severe blow to the head. This causes bleeding between the skull and the brain surface. This blood clot grows with time. While the clot grows it seems that all is well. But when the blood clot pushes hard enough against the brain, it will cause death. So the Devil seems to have recovered from his clash with Jesus, but the swelling blood clot in his head is his future death sentence. He is fatally doomed.
JOHN 13:19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.
Jesus prophesies of future events so when they come to pass, people will realize that He is God in the form of a Man. Only God can tell the future.
Predicting that Hillary would win the 2016 presidential election was a bad mistake. Those who made that prediction are obviously not in tune with God’s thinking. When Jesus predicts something, then it happens.
But footwashing refers to the church, over a period of 2000 years, being guided by the Word of God (the water) that the disciples would use to establish the first church age.
JOHN 13:20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
The disciples would have to learn to accept Paul as a fellow apostle despite him starting as a persecutor of the church.
Thus each age would receive a messenger who was to guide that age so that the church could follow the Big Plan of God as it unfolded over the 2000 years of church history.
Each messenger revealed those parts of Scripture which acted as a life raft so that the church of that age could ride the turbulent rapids of that specific time.
A person only receives the messenger to his or her age when the messenger reveals the Scripture to them. God only moves through His Word. The Word is Jesus. The messenger has to reveal Jesus as He walks through the pages of the Bible. When you receive a clear insight into the Bible, then only have you received the messenger. That insight or revelation comes from God alone.
JOHN 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:
Only God can give us a revelation of truth.
The main purpose of the Holy Ghost is to guide us into all truth as we get to understand the mysteries of the Bible. This is the evidence of the Holy Ghost baptism today.
But obviously, just as God would send a messenger to each church age, Satan would also use church leaders to betray the Word by changing or contradicting or ignoring or misinterpreting Scripture.
JOHN 13:21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
The betrayal of truth by church leaders was very troubling to Jesus. That is why He warned us that the antichrist operates through deception. Partly Scriptural truth and partly unscriptural lies. This was illustrated by the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The good in the church systems fool the people into thinking that they are right. As a result they never uncover or look for the unscriptural evil that is also present in the church.
The first betrayer was Judas.
JOHN 13:22 Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.
But error was so well hidden in this small leadership group that none of them knew who the betrayer was.
JOHN 13:23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
The apostle John was perhaps closest to Jesus and had a very special relationship with him.
JOHN 13:24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.
Peter got John to ask Jesus who the person was.
JOHN 13:25 He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?
JOHN 13:26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
Jesus dipped a piece of bread into some liquid and gave it to Judas.
During the Last Supper, Jesus had just broken the bread. The bread was a symbol of Scripture which is food for the soul. Breaking bread was a symbol of preaching just what the Bible says, without adding any personal errors and opinions.
Judas got bread soaked in some liquid like gravy. This symbolized the truth (the bread) that was now covered in some error as well. The gravy taste would dominate the bread taste. So it is when people add error to the Bible, they stop repeating Bible verses and become obsessed with the error of human quotes that are not reflected in the Bible verses.
Very few Christians can actually prove what they believe from the Bible.
Message-believers claim that “The supernatural Cloud of 1963 was the mighty Angel of Revelation Chapter 10 coming down”.
Try proving that statement from the Bible.
Then you will see how much misinterpreted error (gravy) has got absorbed into the truth (the bread).
JOHN 13:27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.
A mixture of truth and error opens the door to the spirit of Satan who was symbolized in Eden as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Satan is clever enough to present some Scripture but he cleverly denies or changes or contradicts other Scriptures.
Judas moved fast. Error breeds quickly. People run enthusiastically with a wrong doctrine. They are trying to do God a service without it being His will.
It was God’s plan for Judas to introduce error. Satan would help rather than oppose Judas. So life becomes easier when we embrace error. Then we have Satan on our side, rather than having him as a strong enemy.
The Last Supper and the footwashing became a point of division amongst the disciples.
Although the error of Judas was still hidden from the other disciples, the foot washing had brought the error to the surface where it now became manifest in the actions of Judas.
If people partake of the Last Supper and the foot washing unworthily, it can cause them to separate from truth and become convinced followers of some plausible error that cannot be proven from Scripture. God sends us a delusion if we do not love truth.
II THESSALONIANS 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
When the last apostle, John, died around the year 100 AD then error in the form of elevating human leaders took over.
At the time of the first apostles, the bishops were simply elders who ran each local church.
PHILIPPIANS 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
Bishops (plural) were in one city. There was no single bishop in charge of a city.
Ignatius of Antioch, who died around 115 AD, was the first to mention a single bishop being the head of the church in a city. He called himself the Bishop of Antioch. That habit soon spread.
In his letter to the Magnesians 2, 6:1 Ignatius said, “Take care to do all things in harmony with God, with the bishop presiding in the place of God”,
He introduced the idea of a man taking the place of God as well as introducing the word “Catholic” (or universal) to describe the church.
Ignatius gave the bishop dictatorial powers over the church of a city.
Ignatius wrote a letter to the Smyrneans 8, “It is not lawful to baptize or give communion without the consent of the bishop. On the other hand, whatever has his approval is pleasing to God. Thus, whatever is done will be safe and valid”.
The bishop could do and say what he liked. But there is no Scripture that says that.
This human supremacy of the bishop of a city eventually produced the Pope as the big boss. Pope Leo the Great ( 440 – 461 AD) claimed supremacy over all the western churches by claiming to be the successor of St Peter.
Today the Pope rules as dictatorial head over all the Catholic churches world wide.
JOHN 13:28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.
Error in the church has always been operating in a hidden manner. Even though Jesus had said that He would give His betrayer a sop, the disciples did not realize what He had done. Error always seems to get by unnoticed in the church.
JOHN 13:29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.
They thought that Jesus had sent Judas to buy something.
Similarly today, the Christians are completely unaware that it is church leaders who betray the truth with man-made commandments.
The pastors claim, unscripturally, that all the tithes belong to them. The bag of church money is firmly in their grasp but the people cannot discern that this is not how the early church was established by the apostles. The early church was known for its apostolic poverty. The apostles moved around to spread the Gospel and accumulated little wealth.
JOHN 13:30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.
Judas left to complete His secret betrayal.
The emphasis on night. The Devil was in him. He was going to destroy Jesus, the Light of the world.
Destroy the light and you are in darkness.
Church leaders, bound by their church beliefs, betray their calling by condemning the Bible truth that their critics oppose them with. Preachers appear to be the leaders of truth, but they cover up their faults and their Biblical errors as well as their Biblical ignorance. So the people are unaware that the church systems that they blindly follow are betraying them.
Church-goers are unconcerned about being unscriptural.
The expressions: Trinity, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, First Person of the Godhead, Second Person of the Godhead, Third Person of the Godhead, Jesus is in the Godhead, three-in-one, Father and Son are of the same essence, are all unscriptural.
Believing that God is in three Persons, they cannot find a single name for God. So the Christian God has no name.
Unscriptural statements are darkness, not light.
JOHN 13:31 Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
Jesus knew that His suffering and death were about to start. Yet He described these cruel events as glory.
From a human point of view they were vicious, unfair, and agonizing. But the apostle John is looking at them from God’s point of view.
This was the time when the debt of sin could be paid and God would be able to redeem His people.
JOHN 13:32 If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.
Satan set out to destroy Jesus. For a while it seemed that Satan was successful as Jesus was dead. But then Jesus rose from the dead and Satan was defeated.
So God has caused good to result from the evil actions of His enemies.
God is only glorified in the actions and words of Jesus Christ.
Jesus is God in the flesh. The Man Jesus was the only Tabernacle that God could dwell in that was perfect. Glory belongs to Jesus alone.
The rest of humanity is flawed and thus humans are not to be glorified.
We can respect a man but we must never glorify a man.
No deference must be shown towards any leader who differs in any way from the Bible.
JOHN 13:33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.
- Jesus claims His territory. He alone can go where others cannot. He has a top secret mission that is incredibly dangerous. Only Jesus can succeed. Nobody else must even try.
Nobody must compare themselves with Jesus and think that they can win the battle against sin in any way.
Jesus was going to die the most agonizing of deaths as He paid for the sins of mankind. Then His Holy Spirit would go down to hell to defeat the Devil and his demonic hordes. He would take the keys of death and hell from Satan.
Then He would raise up all the Old Testament saints in a resurrection by emptying out the Old Testament Paradise where the saints were kept captive and then take them up to heaven with Him.
PSALM 68:18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive:
The Old Testament saints resurrected soon after the resurrection of Jesus.
MATTHEW 27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
That is why, after His death, the New Testament saints would go straight to Heaven when they died.
Thus the disciples would not be able to follow His path down to hell and back. This was a journey that was completely beyond their capabilities.
JOHN 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
They were to love each other for Christ's sake, and according to His example, seeking what might benefit others.
JOHN 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
By nature, people are greedy, resentful, territorial, jealous, and selfish.
To see a group of people who have all things in common and strive for the benefit of others would be amazing.
JOHN 13:36 Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.
2. Jesus claims His territory for the second time.
Only He can successfully fight the agonizing and deadly battle against sin. Only He can fight and defeat Satan. Nobody else has a hope in that battle.
But later on, when salvation had been won at a great price by His death, burial, and resurrection then Peter could be crucified in his old age and safely follow Jesus into heaven.
But this time, when the real battle against sin is to be fought, Jesus has to fight it alone.
Only the Son of David can take on the horrific spiritual giant of Death and win. Even David, who had beaten Goliath, could not defeat Death. Alexander the Great conquered every enemy but in the prime of his life at the age of about 33, Death beat him.
Born of sex, we are all fatally flawed and thus all have to die.
Elijah and Enoch had escaped death. But now Jesus, as the Champion of mankind, as the very Life of God, had to face Death in the ultimate Life-and-Death struggle.
But this time Satan seriously misjudged. He was fighting a virgin born Man Who allowed Himself to become very weak but Who had no flaws.
Peter is up to his old tricks by again. Asking for information that Jesus cannot give him.
Jesus had just said that the apostles cannot come with Him. Jesus is busy laying a deep and subtle trap for the Devil. It is top secret in order to fool the Devil.
Rather like message-believers demanding their right to know what the seventh Seal and the seven Thunders are. That is also top secret information that will somehow fool the Devil. Thus nobody can know it before the Thunders utter after the resurrection of the New Testament saints. Events got turbulent and bewildering at the time of the Old Testament saints’ resurrection. So today’s events will get turbulent and bewildering as the time of the New Testament saints’ resurrection approaches.
But, remember, if it goes plumb into the shadows of death, "I am the resurrection and Life; I'll raise him up again." And when the great Director comes down and bears that stick down, then, "time shall be no more." When that Angel, of Revelation the 10th chapter, puts one foot on land and one on the sea, and a rainbow over His head, He swore, "time shall be no more." When that time comes, you will rise up from among the dead. While the rest of them lay there, you will go in. Stay in the Symphony. Stay in God's Word.
1964, a year after the supernatural Cloud was photographed, and he speaks of the Angel of Revelation Chapter 10 in the future. The Angel comes down to raise the dead. Only then do the seven Thunders utter. But we must stay Scriptural, not invent doctrines based on interpreting quotes.
1965-11 27 I HAVE HEARD BUT NOW I SEE
Dear God, in this solemn moment, it's going to be a time like this when there really will be a clap of thunder someday, and the Son of God shall descend from the heavens with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and the trump of God, the dead in Christ shall rise.
A month before he died and brother Branham is still waiting for the future coming down of the Angel to raise the dead.
He is still waiting for the “shout” which is his message. How can that be?
His message was not complete when he finished preaching it and when he understood the written mysteries of Scripture. His message, the shout, is only complete when we can take his quotes back to Scripture and we are thus able to prove our beliefs from the Bible. That day still lies in the future because message-people focus on quotes and ignore the Bible. Bible ignorance spreads because the focus is on William Branham and not on the Word of God, which is Jesus Christ.
There are simply some secrets that we cannot know in advance.
But message-followers, like Peter, will stubbornly demand to know what was never written. This is a foolish mistake.
Message-preachers have preached the seven Thunders for about 50 years without producing the rapture. They have simply misled the people.
Brother Branham said that the seven Thunders were revealed in the Seals. But in the Seals he revealed the Thunders to be a total mystery that nobody is allowed to understand.
64-0830E QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.4
Have the seven thunders which equals seven mysteries already been revealed? Were they revealed in the seven Seals, but are yet not known to us as the thunders yet?
No, they were revealed in the seven Seals; that's what the thunders was about.
The Thunders were revealed in the Seals. What the Thunders were about. What their function was, which is to give the Bride rapturing faith and to give supernatural power to Moses and Elijah as they shut up the heavens to stop rain.
But what was revealed about their content, what they said? Nothing. Look what brother Branham says about the Thunders in the Seals. He clearly says that the Thunders are a total secret that nobody, not even angels, knows anything about.
1963-0324E THE SEVENTH SEAL
One of the mystery of that Seal, the reason it wasn't revealed, it was seven thunders that uttered their voices, and there it is perfectly, because nothing knows anything about it; wasn't even written.
…but here is seven straight thunders right in a row: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, that perfect number. Seven thunders in a row, uttered … just one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, straight. Then heavens couldn't write that. Heavens can't know about it, nothing else, because there's nothing to go on. It's a relaxing time. It was so great till it's kept secret from the Angels. Now, why?
If Satan should get a hold of it, he might do great damage. There's one thing he don't know. Now, he can interpret anything he wants to, and impersonate any kind of a gift (I hope you're learning.), but he can't know this. It's not even written in the Word. It's a total secret. The Angels, everything shut up. If they made one move it might give something away, so they just shut up, quit harping; everything stopped.
The Thunders sound to Moses and Elijah as well. Thus the Thunders can only utter at the cross over time when the Bride gets caught up to heaven and the Gospel goes back to the Jews.
63-0321 THE FOURTH SEAL
Now, we had him coming last night with his great sword to kill. We find out that he gets killed with the Sword too, the sword of the Word. God's Word, sharp, two-edged sword slays him, puts him right down. Wait till them seven thunders utter their voices to that group who really can take the Word of God and hand it there. It'll slice and cut. And they can close the heavens; they can shut this or do that, whatever they want to. Glory.
He will be slayed by the Word that proceeds from His mouth; it's sharper than a two-edged sword. They could call for a hundred billion tons of flies if they wanted to. Amen. Whatever they say's going to happen, because it's the Word of God coming from the mouth of God. Amen.
Elijah closed the heavens for no rain.
Moses struck Egypt with plagues like flies.
The seven Thunders is not just for the New Testament saints, but also for the two prophets to Israel.
So Jesus claims his territory the second time.
Only He can win the keys of death and hell.
Only He can go on that incredibly dangerous journey which would take Him down to hell and back. No human could accompany Him.
ISAIAH 63:3 I have trodden the winepress alone;
Jesus tells Peter that he cannot follow Him in death now.
Jesus staked out His own territory, what He alone can do. He clearly said this twice.
Peter is so wrapped up in the events of that day that he is totally clueless about God’s Big Picture.
But Jesus says that Peter will follow him later. Peter did not yet know that in later years he would be crucified like Jesus was.
JOHN 13:37 Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.
Peter is just not listening. Peter thought he was brave and bold. He thought he could impress Jesus with his works.
But there is a big difference between boldness and blindness.
Peter thought he could choose to serve God his way.
Peter thought Jesus would be impressed by his willingness to die.
Not at all.
Jesus wanted him to die to himself and his human way of thinking. Jesus wanted Peter to live but just be totally obedient to the Word of God.
If Jesus as the Word refuses to say where He is going, then Peter must stop asking.
If what the seven Thunders utter was not written, then we must stop asking what they are or what they say.
Jesus has twice said that the disciples cannot follow Him in death just yet.
They were unaware that they still had to launch the first church age as a foundation for all the other church ages. They were also totally incapable of paying the price for salvation by their deaths.
The best and greatest of men is still far, far inferior to Jesus.
No man can compare with Him in any way.
Jesus alone was sinless. He alone could be the Passover Lamb that was sacrificed. It takes spiritual courage to believe the Word of God. If God does not want us to know something that is not written, we must not try to force an answer out of Him.
Now for the third time Peter insists on an answer that Jesus refused to give him.
Peter was a slow learner. He just did not grasp that Jesus had twice said they could not follow Him (in death).
Rather like message-believers insisting that they know what the seven Thunders uttered even though God wants it kept secret because John never wrote it. Thus it cannot refer to seven things that are written in Scripture.
Peter would not take no for an answer. He mentioned his own bravery and willingness to die for Jesus.
God wants obedience to His Word. Not human works.
JOHN 13:38 Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.
Jesus gives a blunt answer. There will be such a spirit of fear unleashed in Jerusalem when Jesus is arrested that even the brave Peter will deny knowing Jesus.
Twice Jesus had said, "No".
But Peter keeps denying what Jesus says as he demands a third answer.
This is his third denial of the Word of Jesus.
But there is no difference between Jesus the Person and Jesus the Word.
The way you treat the Bible is the way you treat Jesus.
Peter denied the Word of Jesus three times.
So Peter will make a third denial of even knowing Jesus as a Person.
That will demonstrate his cowardice, not his bravery.
Hens seldom crow.
A rooster crows to establish its authority over some territory.
Jesus had twice established His authority as the only One Who could die to save mankind and go down to hell to defeat Satan and then come up and raise the Old Testament saints.
And He had to die alone.
This was symbolized by a rooster crowing twice.
Peter denied what Jesus said for the third time by demanding to die with Jesus.
Sounds brave, but was a totally stupid and useless suggestion. Rather like a Thunders interpretation.
Jesus did not want a disciple to come up with his own ideas of how to serve God.
He just wanted a disciple to believe and obey what He said. Being Scriptural and believing Jesus was far more important than a brave contradiction of the Word. Human bravery cannot save us.
Peter had bragged about his courage. But such was the intensity of the Jewish leaders’ unbelief as the Word (Jesus) got bound and falsely accused, that Satan could release a spirit of intense fear. Everyone was so scared for their own lives that nobody had the courage to stand up for Jesus, the Word.
Message people have been intimidated into believing quotes and interpretations of quotes. Now they are scared to stand up for Scriptures that contradict the quotes and the interpretations of quotes.
A rooster crows to establish his territory.
Peter was crowing to establish his zeal and bravery.
But that night his scared denials would happen three times.
Then when a rooster crowed to establish its territory, Peter was forced to admit that he did not have the courage to stand up for Jesus.
Peter had no idea of the evil that was being unleashed against the Messiah.
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.
His human bravery dissolved in bitter tears.
Satan has unleashed a spirit of fear that only Jesus could withstand. In these last hours there was only one Man Who could face the demonic fury of the Devil and that was Jesus, as He used weakness to fool the Devil’s might. Peter thought strength and bravery could fight the battle. There he was completely wrong.
It was better for the disciples to be scared and run away. They could not have survived the titanic clash between good and evil.
Only one Man could save the human race from that onslaught of demonology. That Man was Jesus.
He was the Son of David going unarmed (not even with a sling) and thoroughly weakened and beaten up to face the spiritual giant of Death. No human champion, not even Alexander the Great with his unbeaten army, had ever beaten Death.
That is why we measure our calendar from the birth of Jesus, and not from any other man.
The birth of Jesus divided the world.