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Unless I Wash You
Gen. Deborah Green
P RAISE GOD. Welcome to Battle Cry Sounding—Battle Cry Pounding; the Lord is moving. The Lord is moving by the power of His Spirit, by the glory that is found in Him, and by the truth revealed.
And this is another in a series of "REPENTANCE REVOLUTION" messages which is what God wants us all to move into RIGHT NOW. Not in five years, not in 10 years, not when we get ready to, not when we retire, but RIGHT NOW.
God wants His people to repent, because the condition of the nation is the fault of God's own people. You know, the Lord told us before the present president was ever elected that he was a “weapon of mass destruction,” that he would be used in the hand of God, and guess what? He's proven to be exactly that. But you know why? Because of the failure of God's own people to stand with God, God has turned oppression, darkness, evil, and wickedness, LOOSE throughout the land.
Now, God wants us to walk uprightly. And if we are truly His people, then we will obey God. Because you know, if you read through John here, a part of what he is explaining to them is true shepherd-ship, and also true sheep-hood. What are truly the sheep of God are the ones who hear God and obey God. So, if you are calling yourself a Christian believer, then you need, at this time, to OBEY GOD and move into repentance revolution.
Now, there's nothing that pride hates more than repentance. How many of you know if God says, "Go tell that person you're sorry," the first thing that rises up in you is a screaming, ranting, beast fully justifying why you don't have to apologize, and why the other person should be at your feet weeping tears before you. What is that? That is pride that opposes repentance. Ok, pride that opposes repentance.
In other words, if God wants us in a repentant frame of mind, a repentant heart, pride will always rise up and say, "Oh, no, I don't have to do that." But that's when you know you do have to do that—because pride will contend with the humility commands of God that will keep us walking in true repentance.
Now, we're in John chapter 13, and the name of this message is, "Unless I Wash You." And this is talking about when Jesus was demonstrating through humility, the washing of the disciples feet. Now, we could wonder, "Well, what has that got to do with repentance?" Well, for one thing, dear ones, UNLESS WE ARE WASHED THROUGH REPENTANCE UNTO THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, WE ARE NOT CLEAN, AND ARE THEREFORE NOT ACCEPTED.
You say, "Well no, that's not true because my pastor said ‘Come as you ar;, it doesn't even matter if you're in your dirty bum clothes; come as you are, and God will be acceptin' of you.’" No, if you REPENT, God will be accepting of you; not if you wear a certain kind of clothing, or make sure you stink before you come to the house of God, or anything like that. It's if we are REPENTANT, then we are washed.
Ok, so first off, let's go to verse 3 in John chapter 13, and I am reading out of the Amplified version, and here's where we go. It says, "[That] Jesus, knowing (fully aware) that the Father had put everything into His hands, and that He had come from God and was [now] returning to God, Got up from supper, took off His garments, and taking a [servant's] towel, He fastened it around His waist. Then He poured water into the washbasin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the [servant's] towel with which He was girded. When He came to Simon Peter, [Peter] said to Him, Lord, are my feet to be washed by You? [Is it for You to wash my feet?]"
Now, we could read that, and we could think, "Oh, look how humble Peter is!" Well, there's such a thing as false humility, and there's such a thing as literally dumb humility, because Peter is not perceiving the demonstration that the Lord Jesus Christ is manifesting by humbling Himself as a servant to wash the feet of the disciples.
So, when he's questioning, what is he showing? He's showing that he's trusting in his understanding, rather than in the move of the Lord; rather than the move of the Lord. Now, how many times do we mess it up, miss out with God, cause our own sorrows—because we walk according to our understanding—rather than cooperate with the move of the Lord? Come on.
The Lord can say, "Ok, now we're going to do this," or, "I've done this, and I want you to do that," and all of a sudden, the old click-click starts clanking: "clickity-clankity, clickity-clankity, God's not right; God is wrong, you know more than God." And right there starts the questioning, "Uh Lord, are you sure you want to do that? Are you sure that's what you want me to do? Come on! Are you sure Lord? Are you sure Lord?" Yes! the Lord's SURE!
Ok, so Peter here, he's taking on the clickity-clack of the old carnal mind and he's saying, "Are you sure?" And he's making it APPEAR that he's HUMBLE. He's making it appear that he's humble. But he's not humble. Because if he was truly humble, he would let the Lord have His way, and he wouldn't need to question the Lord.
But Peter was, I believe, wanting the others to see, who had already allowed the Lord to wash their feet, that he was more humble than they. Did you know we can displease the Lord while we're trying to OUTSHINE our brother, or our sister, and to show how much more ‘spiritual and humble’ we are than them. And all they've done is cooperate with what God was doing, and we, WE have put it upon ourselves to QUESTION what God is doing.
Then, "Lord, are my feet to be washed by You? [Is it for You to wash MY feet?] Jesus said to him, You do not understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later on. Peter said to Him, You shall NEVER wash my feet!"
Now, Mr. Humble has all of a sudden grown very assertive; and he's telling the Lord what he's going to do. SO, HE GOES FROM QUESTIONING THE LORD TO DICTATING TO THE LORD. Now, how many of you do that? How many of us do that? How many of us think we can COMMAND God, and He is destined to obey—because we are so humble…or because we are so sure of ourselves in our pride?
So, Peter says basically in the first interaction here, he's basically saying, "Oh, YOU are going to wash my feet?" Then he rises up in indignation and he declares to the Lord, "YOU SHALL NEVER wash my feet." In other words, "You are so high, and I am so low that I will not allow you to have your way."
Did you know you have to watch out for false humility? Why? Because it's a form of self-righteousness; it's a form of the working of the flesh; and it's very religious. But actually, it's very disobedient, and it's impudent, and it's disrespectful. It's disrespectful.
Do you know what? If God wants to do something for you, you are supposed to let God do it. Did you hear me? If God says, "Yea, I want to do this for you; I want to provide you with this; I'm going to give you that," and we say: "NEVER, I would never want you to do that for me," what are we doing? We are refusing the washing of the Lord.
Now, that's what Peter was doing here: he was refusing to allow his feet to be washed by the Lord, why? Because of a spirit of false humility, because of a spirit of self-righteousness and pride that made him think that he had to somehow be more humble than everyone else, and let everyone else know that the Lord was meant to be exalted, and not meant to be the servant.
But Jesus had already told him, in other encounters with him that he who is the greatest of all is the servant of all. So, let us go on here. It says in verse 7, "Jesus said to him, You do not understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later on. Peter said to Him, You shall never wash my feet! Jesus answered him, Unless I wash you, you have no part with (in) Me [you have no share in companionship with Me]."
So, if we look at that in the context of the deeper meanings, UNLESS WE REPENT AND ARE WASHED BY THE LORD, WE HAVE NO COMPANIONSHIP WITH GOD.
Now, Peter was basically saying, "I do not need this place of humility where my feet are being touched by the Son of God, and He is literally washing my feet. I don't need that. I don't want you to do that."
Do you know when we refuse what it is that God offers to us, we are doing the same thing; we are saying, "I don't want that, I don't want you to do that, I don't want you to touch me there, I don't want you to wash me there"? What did Jesus say to him? He said, "You don't understand. You don't understand."
Did you know, whether we understand or not, we are meant to obey? Now, you don't find all this fuss coming from the ones that Jesus had already washed their feet, they had already experienced the hand of the Lord washing their feet, touching their feet, humbling Himself to dry their feet. It had already been done, they had not brought up their SHOW of false humility.
You know, there's one thing I'll tell you about the flesh, IT ALWAYS LOVES A SHOW. That's how you can tell that the modern church is of the flesh—it's got to always have a show, everyday, every time the doors are open; it's got to be the greatest show on earth. It's like a circus. It's got to have the show because it's of the flesh; it's not of the Spirit.
So, Peter is, as usual, getting into the flesh, rather than the Spirit, and what is he saying? "You're never going to touch me there. You're never going to humble yourself to the point where you wash my dirty feet." And what is Jesus saying to him? "Unless I wash you, you have no part with (in) Me [you have no share in companionship with Me]."
Now, let us take that to the very principle of repentance because God has told us that is the cornerstone, the foundation stone that has been rejected by the builders.Now, I'm not saying that repentance replaces Peter, because Peter is not the cornerstone. THE CORNERSTONE IS JESUS CHRIST THE LORD. But, the entry into Jesus, into companionship with Jesus, is allowing Him to wash us—as we repent.
So, what is the factor that Jesus is displaying here? It's how important that washing is. And folks, we don't get that washing without repentance. So, here's Peter out of a proud attitude, which he's assuming is humility, but it's false humility, declaring, "You will never wash my feet." And Jesus said, "If I don't, then you have no share of me. If I don't wash you, you have no part of me.”
And you know what? That same truth, dear ones, applies to us today; if we will not accept the washing of the Word of the Lord in our lives through repentance, we have no part of Him. The Lord said this morning in one of the Words that: “If people are unrepentant, it doesn't matter how long they've spent in church, it doesn't matter how many services they've gone to, if they've never repented, they're unacceptable.” So, if we will not accept the washing, we will not be found acceptable to the Lord.
Then going on it says, "Simon Peter said to Him, Lord, [wash] not only my feet, but my hands and my head too!" So, now he's ready to turn it into a bathhouse. That's the beauty of Peter—his extremism, "One minute you're not going to wash me at all," the next minute he says, "Here I am, wash ALL of me!" Might as well get the whole head, and the hands, and everything into that little basin.
But you know what thought I had? This is only my thought; it's not a revelation from God. I thought maybe Peter in his self-righteousness had seen that the water was a little muddled, a little dirty from the other guys, so maybe that's why he was really saying, "Lord, you will never wash my feet." Maybe he didn't want the dirty water. I don't know.
You know, the Bible leaves us to wonder on some things, and that thought crossed my mind. You know, if I saw this basin coming at me, and it had a little bit of debris, or some other odors from somebody else, I might figure out a way to get out of it, and maybe pose it as a spiritual sacrifice.
But then you see Peter's so contrary, then he turns around and says, "Hey, let's just do it all. Do my head, do my feet, everything.” And then what does Jesus say? Then it says, "Jesus said to him, Anyone who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is clean all over. And you [My disciples] are clean, but not all of you."
Now, here He's giving again His hidden meanings, you might say, whereby He's saying one thing, and diverting abruptly to another thing, which He's directing to the absolute betrayal and denial of Christ by Judas, that is denying that Christ is the Messiah, and denying everything that he'd been taught, and betraying the trust and the confidence that the others had in Him. Of course, Jesus knew who he was, and what he was, even from the beginning. But nonetheless, it was an inference to that individual.
But you notice here, He's saying that, "Anyone who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is clean all over" and then it says, "there's one of you who isn't clean. For He knew who was going to betray Him; that was the reason He said, Not all of you are clean."
Now, the thing that occurred to me when I was reading this, is that we have been instructed in here over, and over, and over again to enter into repentance revolution, and to REPENT EVERY DAY.
Ok, now it was their custom in those days that anytime they had been journeying, or walking for a good distance or whatever, that when they entered into a house to stay there, that they were to wash their feet. Now, if they had to do that, I'm sure they did it everyday.
So, if we think we have no need for repentance, we're declaring to God, "We don't need to be washed;" we're as bad as Peter. We're saying, "I don't need that." Now, Jesus didn't say, "All of you are filthy, and let's put your head in there, and your hands in there, and your belly in there, and you know, exterior in there, and your posterior in there, and your elbow in there, and your knee in there.” He said, "No, if you've already bathed, you're clean, but your feet need to be washed."
So, when we enter into repentance on a daily basis, we should look at it in the context that it is OUR FEET THAT GET SOILED WHEN WE WALK. In other words, as we are in service to the Lord, as we are walking with the Lord, as we are in obedience to the Lord, that yes, our feet will get soiled.
And we shouldn't think that we're so great, and glorious, and beautiful that our feet never get soiled; but we should understand that if they are in contact with the earth, if they are in contact with that which is underneath them, if they are in contact with the dirt, and with the soil, and with the rocks, and with the wind, and with all the elements that will hit our feet as we journey, then yes, we should realize, and He's given us a demonstration in the foot-washing, that we should get repentance daily—that we should be willing to be washed daily.
That would be like saying, "Well, you know, I took a bath in 1971 when I got saved, and all these years, I have been so wonderfully faithful to God; I'm so perfect, so impeccable, and so CLEAN, that surely you don't realize that I haven't had a bath in 43 years. I don't need one. I don't need a bath."
You know, there used to be this evangelist who claimed, because he went on one 40 day fast, that “his body never had odor, that he never sweated, that he was able to wear the same coat for 40 years and it had no odor.” He really did. He promoted that; he sent it out in his newsletters; he declared it. Well, I thought to myself, "That is a sheer miracle."
But, I saw photos of the man when he was young, and photos of the man 40 years later supposedly in the same coat, which if you looked, it had been expanded several times on the side. But, he was chubby in his old age, and they were always putting recipes in the newsletter—rather than fasting, and you know, it was all this stuff that let you know he had increased in size in the flesh. So then I saw him in the famous 40 year old coat, and I realized he was a liar. But he was trying to promote that he never needed to clean that coat, or to increase the size of that coat.
Now, when the man went on the 40 day fast he was very slender, I mean by the time he was finished with the fast, and the older photos of him, and seeing him in person, HE ABSOLUTELY WAS NOT IN THE SAME COAT. SO, WHEN WE WANT TO ACT LIKE THE ONE WASHING WAS GOOD ENOUGH, WE'RE ONLY DECEIVING OURSELVES.
It's like, ok, I got saved in 1971, praise the Lord, hallelujah; it was the most glorious day of my life, was my birth-day, was the day I actually started to be alive instead of dead in trespasses and sins, but, as I walk, as I journey, I'm going to NEED ADDITIONAL WASHINGS. I'm going to need to get the crud off of my feet; I'm going to need my feet to get soothed by the washing of the Lord.
You know, your feet sometimes can get very hot, they can get gritty, they can get extremely uncomfortable, and they can get sore; and you'd be amazed at what a little pan of water will do for your feet. What a little repentance will do for you. If you repent, you draw the Lord near to you!
So, then it goes on and it says, "So when He had finished washing their feet and had put on His garments and had sat down again, He said to them, Do you understand what I have done to you? You call Me the Teacher (Master) and the Lord, and you are right in doing so, for that is what I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher (Master), have washed your feet, you ought [it is your duty, you are under obligation, you owe it] to wash one another's feet. For I have given you this as an example, so that you should do [in your turn] what I have done to you." So, in other words, what He's saying is, "I have physically, literally demonstrated to you that I am willing to wash you."
Now, what does it say? It says, "Jesus is at the right hand of the Father daily making intercession for us." Did you hear that? So what is He doing every single day? IN THE SPIRIT, HE IS WASHING US, because He is there, interceding to the Father in our behalf.
So, He's interceding that we could be washed, that we could be cleansed, that we could remain in a place whereby we are pleasing the Father. And He says that, "I've done this to you—this physical demonstration of washing your feet as an example."
And then He went on and He said, "You should do it one for another as the time arises." In other words, that we should be daily repenting; not only for our sins, but for the sins of our brethren. Did you know if you do something wrong, and I know you've done wrong because the Lord shows it to me, then I immediately, as soon as the Lord shows me, I start praying for you. Now, does that mean I'm better than Jesus, or equal to Jesus? No, it means I'm following the instructions that He left for us.
See, people have taken footwashing…and believe me, I don't undermine footwashing because it's a very humbling experience. But, they've taken it merely in a physical demonstration, just like communion. They say, "Well, if I eat this little-bitty dab of wafer from China (that's got poison in it) and if I drink this Kool-Aid in a thimble cup, then I'm a part of the Lord.”
But, you know, that completely does away with the spiritual context of communion which means we are meant to come into the place of oneness of relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and commune with Him. So, the church has carnalized...I didn't say caramelized, I said carnalized. For those of you who are dreaming of Christmas candy, NO, it's not caramelized, it's CARNALIZED. The church has carnalized all of these things that Jesus demonstrated.
Another example, this is just out of the blue here, but another example—feeding programs. They say, "Well, Jesus gave them the loaves and fishes, so we got to feed every bum out of Hell." No, JESUS DID NOT FEED EVERY BUM out of Hell: He fed the ones who were FOLLOWING HIM; He fed the ones who went out into the wilderness places TO HEAR HIM TEACH, AND TO PREACH, and demonstrate the Kingdom of God for THREE DAYS into a place where there wasn't any food, any mini-mart to run to.
And those are the ones that He provided the miracle for, that He provided the miracles of the loaves and the fishes. So then, Christians want to carnalize it, and they go around, and they get all these free-food offerings, and then they say, "We're feeding the poor. We're feeding the wretched." You're feeding the vermin, in some instances, you're feeding people that don't want to work, that don't want to accept responsibility, that want to remain in an alcoholic state, that want to get a free hand-out, and don't want to carry their own load; on and on it could go. But, I'm saying that we have mis-interpreted the Scripture.
Now, I believe in foot-washing, that yes, you can enter into a physical demonstration of footwashing. But, I also believe that Jesus makes it evident here, if you really look at what He's saying, that the washing that HE'S TALKING ABOUT IS THE WASHING THAT WE GAIN WHEN WE ARE REPENTANT AND SUBMITTED TO THE LORD, AND WE'RE IN OBEDIENCE UNTO GOD, AND WE REPENT UNTO GOD, AND ALSO THE INTERCESSION THAT HE MAKES FOR US DAILY AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER.
He's not coming down every day and saying, "Deborah, I've got the basin, I've got the towel, let's go, put your feet in here." It's every day He's praying for me before the heavenly Father. So, He's saying that EVERY DAY WE SHOULD BE PRAYING ONE FOR ANOTHER.
In other words, we should be willing to repent if we see our brother, or our sister do wrong, or do something that we can feel the anger of God rise up over; that we should repent for them that they can come to the place of repentance. Did you know sometimes you can be so dirty you can't even see your own dirt?; you can be so blind you can't even see your own blindness? Then someone else will repent in your behalf then all of a sudden it becomes clear, "Hey, I'm the number one fool."
So, what is He saying? “I've served you in this way; I've physically, literally demonstrated that I will go to this degree to see you cleansed. What degree will we go to—to see someone else cleansed? Are we willing to repent for them? Are we willing to cry out for them? Are we willing to wash their feet?” Amen.