And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, Which shall stand for an ensign of the people: To it shall the Gentiles seek: And his rest shall be glorious.
Song of Solomon 6:9
My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.
GOLDEN TEXT: Revelation 22:14 - “Blessed are they that do His commandments that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
The tree of life represents immortality. To be able to enter in through the gates into that city is to have heavenly citizenship in the eternal dwelling place of God. All unbelievers are “without” the city in the lake of fire.
Communion was instituted by Christ and is a sacred ordinance, which we are commanded to observe. Jesus instituted this ordinance and gave us instructions on how to practice it. This ordinance is observed in remembrance of Christ and his death. Only sinless and consecrated Christians are eligible to participate.
Luke 22: 17 – 20 - And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you; this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
It was Christ’s desire to eat the Passover with His disciples before His death. The Jews in memory of their departure from Egypt traditionally observed the Passover when the blood that was sprinkled on the doorpost of their dwelling saved them from the destroying angel that passed over when he saw the blood. The Supper consists of unleavened bread, which represents His body broken on the cross for our sins, and the wine (unfermented grape juice), which represents the blood of Christ shed for our sins.
I Corinthians 11:23 – 33 - For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.
These same words, as spoken by Paul, are to be repeated for each individual. He instructs us to tarry one for another, and pray for one another. To tarry means to delay, linger or stay for a time when we come together for this purpose. There is but one way to properly administer Communion, the same as practiced and taught by Paul. Communion is conducted in remembrance of Christ’s death and in anticipation of His return. It is not eaten to satisfy hunger. This is a good time for self-evaluation. Every Christian should use this most solemn occasion to examine his own spiritual progress and attitudes before partaking since those that participate unworthily are subject to sickness and death. For this reason Communion should be administered to TRUE children of God only. Those not worthy shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord meaning they are judged guilty of His crucifixion.
Feet washing was instituted by Jesus and is a New Testament ordinance we are commanded to observe, as much so as Communion. Its observance was taught by the apostles and practiced by the Early Church. Charity and good works do not fulfill this obligation. Feet washing should always follow Communion. If this is not possible due to weather or some other circumstance, they both need to be postponed and rescheduled until a more convenient time.
Both by example and precept Christ convinced His disciples that He was commanding them to practice it. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet to teach them by example.
John 13:4 – 17 - He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that, he poured water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feel, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said, unto him, What I do thou knowest not now: but thou shalt know hereafter. 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 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 another’s 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 that his lord; neither he that is sent greater that he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
Peter objected. He displayed a mixture of humility and pride. He did not want Jesus to perform this lowly service for him. Washing the guest’s feet was always done by the humblest of the servants.
As Christians we should be willing and happy to perform this most menial service for one another. Many have moved away from this most solemn occasion and don’t view it as being a commandment but merely setting an example, whereby used by Christ to teach His disciples a lesson in humility, and not establishing an ordinance. But Christ tells us if we do not “thou hast no part with me.”
John 12:16 - These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.
Christ’s teachings required the presence of the Holy Ghost to make them fully understand. Only after the crucifixion, resurrection and the coming of the Holy Ghost did they fully understand and appreciate the meaning of all that Christ had shown and instructed them to do. Until that time, it was more then they could comprehend. The Spirit of truth was needed to guide them. We serve the same God today and the same Spirit of Truth is needed. For those that know to do and do not, it is a sin.