Dear Brethren and Friends,
During the momentous events of the Passover observance when Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, He made this profound statement: “‘What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this’” (John 13:7).
Because he did not understand, Peter had at first resisted the actions of Jesus. The very thought that Jesus would carry out such a humble task as washing the feet of the disciples was abhorrent to Peter.
The subsequent occurrences surrounding Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread also fulfilled what God had planned—although, for the followers of Jesus Christ, those traumatic days were extremely difficult. They really didn’t know what to do!
That did not remain the case for very long! The Father resurrected Jesus Christ, and He carefully worked with and guided His disciples.
To look back and believe the record of those times should serve to strengthen us in our calling. We are NOW among the disciples of Jesus Christ who are living in the period described in the Word of God as the end of this age! Not unlike the earlier disciples, we don’t understand everything yet; however, WE CAN KNOW already what we need to know!
This requires real effort on our part. It requires overcoming, perseverance and zeal. Importantly, Jesus told us—our generation, specifically—to watch and to be ready (Compare Matthew 24:42, 44; 25:13).
Jesus also issued this stern warning to us:
“‘But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man’” (Luke 21:34-36).
We have been given a tremendous understanding with which to face the future, but just knowing what we now know is not an end in itself. There is danger in locking oneself inside of a static, even stunted comprehension of revealed truth. Paul addressed this in a particular circumstance involving food offered to idols, but his comments about knowledge are very applicable to us today, as well: “…We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him” (1 Corinthians 8:1-3).
Concerning what we understand, Paul states: “For we know in part and we prophesy in part” (1 Corinthians 13:9). He adds, in verse 12: “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”
Jesus Christ taught that knowledge and understanding would continue to be revealed to His servants:
“‘For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.’ Then He said to them, ‘Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, MORE WILL BE GIVEN. For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him’” (Mark 4:22-25).
Those who are unwilling to grow in their understanding place themselves in great peril, with frightening consequences!
Just before his death, Peter wrote what is recorded in his second letter. After being a witness to and instrumental in the founding and establishment of the Church of God, he also lived long enough to see the Church both grow and then suffer persecutions along with the emergence of counterfeit doctrines, deceptive teachers and false brethren. Here are his final written comments to the Church: “…GROW in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).
Jesus promised His disciples that the Holy Spirit, dwelling in them, would “guide” them “into all truth” (John 16:13). “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God…” (Ephesians 4:11-13).
On Sunday evening, April 1, 2007, we will observe Passover services as instituted by Jesus Christ (Note that according to God’s instructions, this observance is after sundown which is the actual beginning of the day of April 2). We keep this service each year just as we have been instructed. Paul states: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death TILL HE COMES” (1 Corinthians 11:26).
These annual memorial observances—including the Days of Unleavened Bread, April 3-9—are far more than mere routine! Each year we should seek to grow in our understanding of the awesome sacrifice made by both the Father and His Son. As well, we need to understand OUR PART in these deeply meaningful events. Consider what Peter said of us:
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10).
As the people of God, we are to observe these coming Feasts and Holy Days with renewed commitment— recapturing that sense of “first love” for God’s Truth. Please take the time to review and carefully study the significance of these times. Our recently published booklet, “The Meaning of God’s Spring Holy Days,” provides a comprehensive examination for your use. Really delve into your own Bible by searching through the Scriptures to grow in the understanding of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Above all, ASK GOD for His help!
Once again, we thank all of you for your continued faithfulness, as we all stand together to accomplish the work that is set before us.
In Christ’s Service,
David J. Harris