FMH Childrenís Club International
P.O. Box 640109
El Paso, TX 79904
The following letter-form was brought about as a means of teaching my children the Word of God through the mail. And of course, quite naturally so, thatís the reason I begin these letters with "Dear Children" and end them with "Love Dad". So for the rest of you who participate in these weekly messages, please keep their original intended purpose in mind.
6-13 June, 1999
Now before we get into the message for this week Iíd like to once again extend the offer I made a few months ago. You see itís been several weeks now that the Lord has reminded me to remind you that the sermonets are available on audio tape... but for some reason Iíve just kept right on forgetting. In fact it was something like four months ago when the Lord actually told me to start this process of recording three sermonets on each of the 90 minute master tapes. So for those of you who donít have the time to read, or maybe even just know someone who canít read (pass it on), this is an excellent method of hearing what "thus saith the Lord" through the preaching/teaching of dear old "Dad". And now that Iíve said all that... itís time to get it on into gear with the rest of the story.
And itís the rest of this story that just so happens to be connected with the sermonet of May 23-30. Because you see one of the reasons why that particular sermonet took two whole weeks to write was due to a problem that weíll label as "the incident at the Best Buy store." And just to give you a few more details of that story, it was on Monday morning the 25th of May, as I was trying so very hard to finish up the sermonet for the 24th, that Arthur and Hadassah gave me the bad news that our new TV/VCR was no longer working. It broke!!! And seeing how it would no longer perform the function of playing videos, it looked as though I was stuck with the very obvious question of what was I going to do next?
So even though I had all good intentions of finishing-up the sermonet just-in-time for the next dayís mail run, the Lord kinda like told me right then and there to stop what I was doing (donít even wait another day) and take the TV/VCR on back to the place where I had bought it (Best Buy). And youíll just have to believe me when I say that what the Lord told me to do was not what I wanted to do. You see it was on my heart to continue on with that most important sermonet topic of "slothful Christians", but it was the Lordís will for me to head on down to the Best Buy store. So once again the situation arose in which my flesh did not completely and whole heartedly agree with what the Spirit of God told me to do. But glory be to God that this battle with the enemy (the flesh) was a short one. Because it was only a few minutes later that I was able to get on with the business at hand by doing what He said (the Spirit) instead of what I wanted (the flesh).
Now before we get much deeper into the message for today, why donít I just go ahead and clue you into the fact that this sermonet is entitled The Good Fight Of Faith (The Spirit Of God Verses The Flesh Of Man) part VIII. Because the little battle that Iíve just described to you was only in preparation for the much bigger battle that was just up ahead. You see it was only a very short time later, as we prepared for our departure to Best Buy, that I suddenly realized the very real need to take along the original sales slip for the TV/VCR. I mean after all, how else was I going to get my free warranty repair? Well after frantically digging through my files I finally found what I was looking for... but what I found was not what I wanted to find. Because you see what I found on that sales receipt was a purchase date of 1/29/99 and the resulting "out of warranty" date of 4/29/99. And seeing how my calendar showed the date to be 5/25/99, it didnít take a rocket scientist to figure out that getting our TV/VCR fixed for free wasnít going to be any too easy. But the Lord told me not to worry about it, just trust in Him and Heíd take care of the rest.
And that my friends is exactly what I tried to do. But... after turning over our broken TV/VCR to the Best Buy customer service person, and waiting for over an hour to get it back, what I finally got back was a "broke" TV/VCR with some very bad news to go along with it. And of course seeing how Satan took full advantage of this situation, it was this bad news that sent my flesh right on back into overdrive. Because you see not only was I told that they could not fix the problem, but it was probably even going to cost more than our TV/VCR was worth to send it on back for repairs. So there I was standing face to face with customer service, completely overcome with the seemingly very real facts that what I thought I had heard from the Lord must not have been from the Lord after all. And if what I thought I had heard from the Lord was not really from the Lord, then my life had just all of the sudden become extremely complicated.
Because you see itís right about now that Iím going through some pretty radical changes in my life. In fact itís my current practice to live each and every day based on the will of God. In other words my day to day activities are all planned around what He tells me to do (the Spirit) and not what I think I should do (the flesh). And seeing how Iím currently without a job, and Iím not even looking for a job, because God the Father continues to tell me that I already have a job, then it shouldnít take too much brain power to figure out that if what I think Iím hearing from the Lord ainít from the Lord Iím kinda like what you might want to call "up the creek without a paddle."
But seeing how I was certain of what my Heavenly Father had told me (that I wouldnít have to shell out a single penny for repairs), I wasnít even going to accept what this customer service person was telling me. And reacting rather quickly to the situation at hand, the Lord told me to have a little talk with the repair man. So thatís what I did. And after he explained to me what had gone wrong with the electronics in our TV/VCR, I explained to him why it shouldnít have happened so soon in the first place. Because you see even though I had bought the set way back in January, I really hadnít even taken it out of the box until May. And seeing how it had only been used for less than 24 hours, it just didnít seem fair to me that what was happening was really happening.
So after having heard my story, Tim the repair man advised me to have a talk with the store manager and see what she could do. And seeing how his advice was exactly what I wanted to hear, I just went right on ahead and asked him to do me the favor of the introduction. And that was right about the time he told me he would be back in a minute, as he walked on off to the back of the store.
But as the minutes continued to tick on by, his "Iíll be back in a minute" turned into what seemed like an hour. And of course it was during this very long "hour" that Satan took every available opportunity to convince my flesh of the utter hopelessness of the whole situation. So the battle with my flesh was heating up once again, and it continued heating up until the time that Tim the repairman made his return... with some really great news... that made it all worth the wait. Because you see in his absence he did me the favor of talking with the store manager... who likewise said it was all right to exchange our broken TV/VCR for a new one. And it was right about then that the Holy Ghost goose bumps broke out all over me.
I mean this entire episode with the TV/VCR and Tim the repairman was not by any means a coincidence! Godís hand was on it... and I just had to find out the rest of the story. So still being very much overcome by the whole situation, I asked Tim if he was a Christian. And the totally unexpected answer that I got back was that not only had he accepted Jesus Christ at an early age, but he also use-to preach. And it was that one little old "use-to" that kinda like got my attention. Because you see when God calls someone to preach, He calls them to preach for a lifetime.
So after letting him know that he had just been used of God to carry out His promise to me, I continued on by telling him that we needed to talk. You see I knew that there was a whole lot more we needed to discuss, and Best Buy was not the place to discuss it. So the Lord encouraged me to make him an offer that he couldnít refuse... of a free steak dinner at the Cattlemenís Restaurant. Well I thought it was too good to refuse, but the Lord knew better. Because it was after I had given him my Childrenís Club business card and told him to give me a call when he was ready to eat that the Lord told me he might not accept the offer. You see He told me that if Tim didnít accept that free T-bone steak offer within three days time he never would.
Now I realize this is going to be hard for some of you to understand but it was either four or five days after the invitation was given to Tim that the Lord told me to go on out to dinner without him. So... we ate steak without Tim! Thatís what we did, but by no means did I understand what was going on. I mean why in the world would anyone pass up an opportunity like that? Well thatís the question I asked the Lord, and the following Scripture as found in John 13:1-38 is His answer to me: "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. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simonís son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 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."
OK, so this Scripture that the Lord gave me (concerning my scheduled meeting with Tim the repairman) takes us back to the last days of Jesus before His death. And even though Jesus was about to give His life on the cross, He dedicated His last few precious remaining hours to His twelve disciples. You see Jesus had (and still has) a very special love for all those who choose to follow Him, and it was specifically those twelve followers who you might want to consider the "cream of the crop". Because not only had all twelve of them been with Him since the beginning of His ministry, but all twelve of them had also been chosen by Him for their very special positions. And even though Jesus had only chosen them after much prayer, not all of them were going to be with Him in the end. And that my friend is exactly what this thing called "foot washing" is all about.
Now even though this job of washing feet would have normally been done by the lowest of slaves, Jesus took on the job... but He did it for a more important reason than getting everyoneís feet clean. You see Jesus wasnít really all that concerned about His disciples having squeaky clean feet, but He was concerned about them having spotlessly clean souls. Because the bottom line fact is that itís not the dirty feet that take people into the everlasting burning fires of Hell!!!
So now that Iíve given you a very brief overview of this message, letís get on down to the particulars. Because by focusing on a very few specific words in the beginning of this Scripture we will be able to get a pretty good understanding of just where we are headed. And these words are as follows: "Jesus... having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And... the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simonís son, to betray him... Jesus... began to wash the disciples feet..."
You see in this story Jesus deals with a total of twelve people (disciples, Christians, or followers of Christ), but He focuses very strongly on two in particular. The first one we have just read about (Judas Iscariot), and the second one is found as we continue on with our reading: "Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 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. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean."
So the two main characters in this story were Judas Iscariot and Peter. And even though both of them were disciples of Jesus (followers of Christ, Christians) who got their feet washed along with the other ten, it was not the both of them whoís feet really got cleaned. Understand?
Well if you donít understand just keep right on reading and prayerfully you will. Because you see I read and prayed and reread this Scripture until I was blue in the face before the Lord finally opened it up for my eyes to see. And if He did it for me He will do it for you. But letís check out a few more of the details before we get all bogged down in the particulars: "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? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one anotherís feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."
So having finished His not-so-pleasant duty of washing feet, Jesus then goes on to tell His disciples how they must do the same if they intend on receiving His blessings. But even though there were twelve disciples who received this "foot washing" from Jesus, there would very shortly be only eleven remaining to continue on with the foot washing practice. Because reading on we find: "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..."
And just who do you think this disciple was who would very shortly be no longer a disciple? Well letís read on and see: "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... 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. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly."
So that was when it all happened ("...And after the sop Satan entered into him..."). That was the very moment when Judas Iscariotís temptation to betray Jesus became what you might call a done deal. You see it was up until that very last moment in time that Judas could have turned away from Satanís temptation and remained a disciple of Jesus. But he didnít, and thatís why we have the rest of the story "Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. 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. He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night. Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said... Little children, yet a little while I am with you... A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
So out of the two main characters in this story, one of them has already bit the dirt big time. I mean talk about a grand exit! Judas, after having refused all attempts by Jesus to correct his sinful ways, finally looses all control over his fleshly desires and signs the contract with Satan. But what about Peter? Well, "Simon Peter said unto him, Lord... I will lay down my life for thy sake. 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."
OK, so what we have here is a story about "foot washing" which in reality was no foot washing at all. I mean Jesus did wash their feet, but the dirt He was trying to wash off was not the dirt of this earth but the dirt of this world. And the dirt of this world is whatís commonly called the temptations of the flesh... and it was both Judas Iscariot and Peter who became the victims of it.
Now in order to better understand the entire situation, letís take a closer look at each of the two individualís temptation. You see Judasí flesh problem was the love of money. And of course seeing how he was so close to Jesus, Satan very quickly took advantage of the situation by making available the opportunity for him to trade-in Jesus for cash. So this "Christ for cash" venture was appropriately called "Judasí betrayal"... because he sold his Friend (Jesus) to the enemy (Satan) for money. In other words Judas traded in his only way to Heaven (Jesus) for a few coins.
So without a doubt Judas had a bad case of the flesh. But what about Peter? Well Peterís problem was none other than his very own macho hang-up called pride. And once again Satan took full advantage of the opportunity by putting Peter into a situation where his life was threatened because of his belief in Jesus. And of course since Peter was still fighting with his problem of "self", the temptation to "not admit" that Jesus was his Lord (deny Jesus) was just too great to resist.
And now that weíve had a pretty good look at the two most important foot washing recipients, why donít we take a closer look at the foot washer. So going back to John 12:44-50 and reading the verses immediately before the foot washing incident, "Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me... And if any man hear my words, He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak."
Now what we have just read in those very few verses is the key to unlocking the reason behind Jesusí foot washing. But seeing how this subject can get just a little complex at times, weíre going to start it off real slow and easy with the basics. And the basics are that Jesus Christ as the Son of God was a man... but yet He was The Perfect Man Who lived His entire life in total and complete obedience to God the Father. He was born into this world just like the rest of us, but yet unlike the rest of us He was born without sin. And even though Jesus started off His life being Perfect, it was up to Him to maintain His "Sinless Perfection" through a total and complete obedience to God the Father. You see He had to make it through this life the same way as the rest of us... and thanks be to God that He made it without sinning! Because you see everything that He both said and did was exactly what God the Father told Him to say and do. He was The Perfect Example of God in The Flesh because He was The Man Who totally and completely obeyed God the Father.
And seeing how everything that He both said and did was straight from God the Father, anyone who rejected Him likewise rejected God the Father. So the reason why Jesus washed His disciples feet the night before His death on the cross was because God the Father told Him to do it. And He told Jesus to do it so that He could not only warn the disciples of their flesh problems but also to demonstrate to them how to wash feet.
In fact if you really get down to the basics, Jesusí life was what you might want to call a very long foot washing experience. And thatís exactly why Paul says in Philippians 2:1-8, "If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit... Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
Now I fully realize this is a deep subject... because Iíve got a bunch of wrinkles on my forehead to prove it. And I would sincerely like to take a lot more time to explain it... but weíre very quickly running out of paper. So in order for me to try and tie it all together, lets get back to me and my real life experience at Best Buy with Tim. You see Timís religious experience was in the Baptist Church. And just in case you havenít heard it already, what they teach is that once you get saved by "accepting Jesus" youíve got it made for all eternity. And seeing how they think theyíre saved for all eternity (regardless of their lifestyle after salvation), thatís the very good reason why the Lord sent me to wash Timís feet. You see God the Fatherís foot washing offer of a T-bone steak meal not only included the food but also the message. And it was the message that was going to be the Words of God that could have turned Timís life back around for Christ.
So can you see why God the Father gave me this foot washing story in order to explain my experience at Best Buy? Well since this message has been so complex, let me try and sum it up real quick: Jesus is the Savior of the world. And all those who follow Him are saved. So you see when those twelve very special disciples in the story decided to follow Jesus they got what you might want to call "the deluxe wash job". They were totally and completely washed squeaky clean of all their sins because they accepted Jesus as Lord. But... as they continued on their walk with Jesus, Satan did everything he could to turn them away... by throwing out a lot of dirt along the way. So it was Satanís dirt that got on their feet that likewise needed to be washed off.
Because you see Satanís dirt can become the sin that ends up keeping the ones who got dirty from getting into Heaven. And thatís why it makes perfectly good sense to get the dirt washed off as fast as possible. But for the most part, just about everybody who gets their feet dirty donít even know that their feet are dirty. And thatís exactly why God the Father has to get somebody else to wash their feet.
OK, so are you still with me? Well now that weíve made it this far I need to clear up the point about "washing feet" is not the process of soap and water being applied to dirty feet but the process of the Word of God being applied to the souls of man. Because you see the only thing that could keep Judas Iscariot and Peter from slipping on into the pit of Hell was the Word of God. They needed to know that their feet were dirty... and thatís exactly what Jesus did when He said to Judas: "...one of you shall betray me... He it is, to whom I shall give a sop...", and then to Peter: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice."
Jesus gave them everything they needed to wash their feet (the Word of God) ... but Judas Iscariot ignored it for all eternity (Hellís fire) while Peter took it to heart (Heavenís bliss). And to finish off this little message on foot washing letís read the words of Jesus from John 15:1-14, "I Am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you... If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned... These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."
So now do you understand why my TV/VCR broke? Well the facts are that God will do everything within His power to try and bring back those who have strayed into Satanís territory. In fact when you really get down to it, the last two sermonets concerning the two brothers who failed Godís test for the Childrenís Club was nothing less than a foot washing exercise. And do you think it worked? Did those two brothers get their feet cleaned by the message? Only God knows.
And in closing, thereís no getting around the fact that the life of a Christian is not easy. So even though the world might think youíre crazy... and the world might think youíre a fool... keep on washing them feet for Jesus... so that you can Keep on keeping The Faith In The Lord!!!
Dad (Bruce Hallman)
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