If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me

Why are the Spiritual Gifts in the book of Acts not still with us today?

By John Foll, written 3/25/2018
© Copyright 2018 John Foll

Peter said to Him, ‘Never shall You wash my feet!’ Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.’” John 13:8 NASB.

At the last supper, which was part of the Jewish Passover, the Jews had customs of washings, especially before religious events. Apparently servants sometimes washed the feet of those at these events, like the Passover, but since none of the disciples offered to take up this menial role, Jesus rose up and did the part of the servant. But when He came to Peter, Peter said, ‘never shall You wash my feet!’ He didn’t think that Jesus should be washing anyone’s feet, since He was the Son of God. Why would a king wash someone else’s feet? Whether or not we are right that the disciples expected someone else to wash their feet, i.e. a servant, it is clear that none of them got up to do the job. And so Jesus did. But we think that this is true, based on Jesus’ comment below in Luke 22:23-27 and in John 13:12-17.

And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing.­ [Betray Jesus.] And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. And He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called 'Benefactors.' But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant. For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves."” Luke 22:23-27 NASB.

The disciples were bickering about who was the greatest among them, and did not think who would take the servant’s role of washing feet, or serve those at the table. Maybe this was why none of them got up to serve the others? But Jesus explained that the greater one is the one who serves.

“Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.’ Jesus said to him, "He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you. For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, ‘Not all of you are clean.’” John 13:9-11 NASB.

The disciples, except for Judas, were clean. But they needed help and needed to make some changes. Each of them needed to stop bickering and seeking the first place for themselves, and they needed to be the servant of others. They had lessons to learn on pride and self-seeking. In the same way, in our day, those who are Christian, who should love Jesus and want to be His servant, His modern day disciple, sometimes bicker and disagree with each other. But unfortunately not all who claim to be Christian, who should be Jesus’ disciple, are clean, and not all are truly His servant – some serve themselves during the week, and then come to Church. But some are clean, and just need to learn this lesson of humility, to wash one another’s feet.

So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.’” John 13:12-17 NASB.  

What things are you blessed if you do them? Wash one another’s feet, or to bear one another’s burdens; being the servant of the brethren and others. Is Jesus your Master? Yes? Then do as He did and serve others, washing their feet and helping them. Blessed are you if you do these things, following in your Master’s footsteps. Do you know what Jesus has done for you? Then walk in His footsteps.

Dear reader, are you Jesus’ disciple? Are you His servant? Are you clean before Him? Have you let the Spotless Lamb of God take away your sins and make you clean? If you do not let Jesus wash you, you have no part with Him! You must let Him forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9. Then you will be His disciple. If you appreciate His love for you, which took the guilt and burdens of your sins away from you and gave you peace, you should greatly love Him. If you love Him, you can’t help but want to be His servant. If you are His servant, you will want to bear one another’s burdens and wash the brethren’s feet. If you are His servant you will want to tell others about God’s love for you and how He saved you and took all your sins and burdens away! If He has done all of this for you, how could you not be His servant? How could you not love Him all the way, and be filled with His love, joy, and wonderful peace? Something to think about… Blessed are you if you do these things – wash one another’s feet and be Jesus’ servant and disciple.

Do not seek to be first. Do not seek your own way. Do not bicker with one another, or beat up on God’s other servants. Be clean from all your sins, allowing Jesus to take them all away, and have wonderful peace! Let the kindness and love of God fill your heart, may His wonderful Spirit fill you, and make you His loving servant, sacrificing all on the altar of your heart, counting all things but rubbish, but for the excellency of knowing and serving Him. God forbid that we should glory in anything but the cross!But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Galatians 6:14 KJV.

May the grace of God be with you. May you decide to follow Jesus, be clean and wash one another’s feet. Amen.

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By John Foll, written 3/4/2017
© Copyright 2017 John Foll
This was written as a response to a question in Disqus.com: Did the Spiritual Gifts Die with the Apostles?
The Gifts of the Spirit are not gone from among those who have given themselves completely to God.
For over 100 years, God’s church as a whole, not as individuals, has been in a lukewarm state as Jesus predicted it would be in Revelation 3:14-22, before the Judgement. Revelation chapter 2 and 3 reveal to us that there are seven church “periods”, beginning with the Church in the book of Acts to the Seventh Church, just before the Second Coming of Christ at the end of the world. There have been more than one scholar and more than one denomination that taught this. We believe that God has given a measure of the Spirit to each of the Seven Churches in each of the seven ages, but not everyone has accepted the Spirit or met the conditions to receive the Spirit.See Joel 2 for the conditions: complete repentance.
* Proof that God’s church has been for over 100 years in a lukewarm state is outside the scope of this article.
* We believe that in each of the periods of God’s church there have been people who have had not only the Fruits of the Spirit, but the Gifts of the Spirit as well.
But to answer the question proposed on Disqus.com: ‘Did the gifts die with the Apostles?’ No! But it should be clear to all that there is something wrong with a lot of God’s church today, since they are not bearing the Christian fruits of the Spirit of peace, love, joy, faith, hope, self-control, etc. How do we know this? By their fruits shall you know them. Matthew 7:16-20. There is unkindness, lack of love, lack of peace, addictions, falsehoods, worldliness, strife, and wickedness, yes, even among those professing to know God and His Son Jesus.But many seek to excuse themselves and there are many false teachers that teach people to excuse their lack of love and godliness in their life, but the Bible is clear that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life – but only given to the humble and the penitent. Romans 6:23; Luke 18:13-14. Jesus clearly promised the Gift of the Holy Spirit to all of His disciples, which should be all Christians, since all Christians should want to be Jesus’ disciple, and they should all be filled with the Holy Spirit. If they really loved Jesus, they would be His disciple! Acts 1:4-5; John 14:16-17; Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16, Acts 2:3-4, Luke 13:26-33.
Jesus’ answer to the First Church of Ephesus gives us the reason why the Gifts of the Spirit are not apparently seen here in our day, to the same extent as in the book of Acts:Because God’s people have lost their first love for Him! Revelation 2:4-5. This passage also tells us how God’s church can get the Holy Spirit back … if they repent and do their first works. What works? By becoming truly converted and loving Jesus all the way, and He will give us the power to do His works. We cannot do this ourselves, we must submit fully to God, and receive this power from Him if we want it. Then we will preach the gospel to the world with great love, joy and power, and love our neighbor as ourselves! This was the church that started out strong in the power of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2, but by the time Paul died and for sure after John the beloved died, the church had lost their first love for Jesus and His Father! And they also lost the full power of the Holy Spirit as well. The Church has yet to recover this full strength yet in our day. The book of Hebrews also gives us a clue too as to why many don’t have the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in their life, because of unbelief! (It doesn’t mention this specifically, but this is an application of what it says.) See Hebrews 3:19; 4:6, 22.
Those who have no desire to live by the gospel or to preach it to the world, or who have lost their first love for Jesus or never had it, cannot have the wonderful sweet promise of the Holy Spirit, nor the Fruits nor the Gifts of the Spirit either, unless they have a great change made in them willingly! But if they have a change in their mind and give themselves to Jesus all the way, they should receive the Holy Spirit in full. Note what Peter here says, “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Acts 5:32 NASB. So we see here that the Holy Spirit is given by God only to those who obey Him (or want to obey Him), this implies that they have submitted themselves completely to Him. There is no middle ground here.
The Gifts of the Spirit cannot be the gifts of the Spirit, without the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I. e. if someone wants to have the Gifts of the Spirit, they MUST first have the Fruits of the Spirit. Their heart must be converted and completely devoted to God, if this is not the case, they do not have the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Or they do not want to obey God, Acts 5:32, or do not want to be Jesus’ friend and do all that He commanded, especially that we would love one another, and everyone in the world. John 15:14, 12-13. The full outpouring of the Holy Spirit is given on the condition of complete repentance and yielding to God. See Joel 2 and Jeremiah 31:31-34. There are popular teachings nowadays that say we don’t need to be concerned too much, if at all, about obeying God or wanting to live a righteous life, or even to make a full confession, and some imply that it is a sin to do so.Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” Isaiah 5:20-21 KJV.
Unless a person has a desire to come clean with God, and make a complete repentance, they will never get the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit, nor the Fruits of the Spirit, nor the Gifts of the Spirit. God’s best gifts are only for those who love Him all the way, and more than anything and everything else. But there is a false Holy Spirit out there, from ‘the father of lies’, and you can get this one quite easily without doing anything that Jesus or the Bible says that we should do, because it requires no cross to bear, and no confession to make, and no obedience to render. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-11. But we would rather have the true outpouring of the Holy Spirit and keep it, because as the song says, ‘‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word.’ By Louisa M. R. Stead. If any will repent, and get their first love for Jesus, and give their heart completely to Him, and want to obey Him and love to obey Him, they too can get this ‘promise of the Father’ that Jesus promised to all Christians! Jesus’ sheep will all hear His voice, and follow Him wherever He goes, want to obey Him, and they will have His Spirit and belong to Him and have life abundantly. John 10:27-29; Romans 8:9,14; Revelation 14:4. Jesus says, “'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. 'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.'”Revelation 3:20-21 NASB. Amen.  

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