The fact that God calls us “My people” and “My children” has significant meaning. Let us suppose there is a wise and generous fish capable of leading many other fish. No matter how talented, honored, or respected that fish might be as a leader in the fish world, it would be insignificant from a human perspective. Likewise, from the perspective of the Most High God, no matter how generous, talented, or knowledgeable a person may be, it is all insignificant unless that person has the relationship with God.
Although we were like worms, God took pity on us and made us His children through His covenants, laws, and regulations. Since God has granted us salvation and eternal life, we must maintain a strong relationship with God so that nothing in the world can separate us from the love of God (Job 25:4–6; Ro 8:35).
When a war breaks out in a country, foreigners are not too concerned about the number of deaths, unless they have family members or acquaintances who live there. They are not too concerned because they have no relationship with the people in the war. In the same way, no matter how smart, talented, or powerful a man is on the earth, without having a relationship with God, he will be regarded as insignificant and fall away from the grace of Heaven.
Therefore, it is absolutely necessary for us to have a relationship with God. Jesus taught that we can have a relationship with God by keeping God’s laws.
After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean . . .” Jn 13:5–10
When Jesus was washing the disciples’ feet on the Passover, out of respect for Jesus, Peter said, “You shall never wash my feet.” He thought it was improper for a person of a lower status to have his feet washed by a person of a higher status and that it was the disciples who should have washed Jesus’ feet. However, Jesus told him directly, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
The words, “You have no part with me,” truly make our hearts tremble. If Peter had no part with Christ, his fervent faith and all his efforts for the gospel would have been in vain. In the end, all of Peter’s hard work would have been for his own self-satisfaction, rather than for the Kingdom of Heaven. This is why Jesus sternly corrected Peter’s misunderstanding.
In the aforementioned story about the wise fish, no matter how hard the fish may work in the fish world, it has no effect on the human world. Likewise, our life of faith will be meaningless and all our efforts in vain if we have no part with God. Through this, we can understand how important it is for us to have a relationship with God.
The world of God and the human world have been connected through a covenant, although they were unrelated before. God established a relationship with His people through the Old Covenant in the Old Testament times and through the New Covenant in the New Testament times. The Bible teaches that we can be connected to God through His covenant.
The Mighty One, God, the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets. From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth. Our God comes and will not be silent; a fire devours before him, and around him a tempest rages. He summons the heavens above, and the earth, that he may judge his people: “Gather to me my consecrated ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” Ps 50:1–5
Those who have made a covenant with God by sacrifice—worship—are called God’s “consecrated ones.” Since we are securely connected to God through the laws, decrees, and regulations, we should consider every covenant of God as precious. God’s covenants and regulations—the daily prayer times, the weekly Sabbath, and the seven annual feasts—are all essential for maintaining our relationship with God.
“Therefore I led them out of Egypt and brought them into the desert. I gave them my decrees and made known to them my laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. Also I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the LORD made them holy.” Eze 20:10–12
God gave the Sabbath as a sign between Him and His people. This shows that we can have a relationship with God through the Sabbath. The fact that we are keeping the laws and regulations of the New Covenant, including the Sabbath and the Passover, is the most convincing evidence of our relationship with God. So we must not neglect the words of the covenant God gave us.
God said that He will put the law of the New Covenant in our minds, and that those who keep the New Covenant will be His people. Let us study about the providence of God who blesses us through the New Covenant.
“The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. . . . This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Jer 31:31–34
Before marriage, a man and a woman are strangers who have no connection to each other. However, after marriage, the bond of their relationship becomes stronger, affecting every aspect of each other’s lives, such as their personality and behavior. Similarly, we were once estranged from God because of our sins, but through the truth of the New Covenant we are now in a relationship with God, connected as parents and children. Thanks to the New Covenant, we now have an inseparable relationship with God the Father and Mother, and we have received the most precious blessing in the world—becoming Their children.
Some people think they have a relationship with God while keeping man-made rules, which cannot be found in the Bible. In reality, their actions reveal that they have no part with God. Jesus’ words, “You have no part with me,” certainly apply to them because they do not keep God’s covenant but follow rules taught by men.
Those who do not keep the New Covenant have not inherited God’s flesh and blood; they have no part with God. Although they pray day and night and worship continuously, they can never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus says to those who practice lawlessness, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers” (Mt 7:21–23).
Nevertheless, they do not realize this fact and look down on us and ridicule our faith even though we follow the Bible. Suppose a drunk person crossing a bridge looks down and sees the reflection of the moon in the water. How foolish would he be to think that he is walking on the moon? His foolishness is the same as that of those who ridicule our faith.
Whereas they have no part with God, we are connected to God through the covenant as His precious sons and daughters. Regardless of what they say, we must never waver in our faith. Rather, we should engrave God’s promise more deeply in our hearts and boldly preach the truth of the New Covenant.
Those who keep man-made rules cannot receive the promise of salvation. However, for those who keep God’s laws, decrees, and regulations, God has prepared the blessed promise of Heaven. Therefore, the Bible says that those who obey God’s commandments are the ones who will be saved in the Age of the Holy Spirit.
Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. . . . And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. . . . This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. Rev 14:1–4, 9–12
The Apostle John recorded the vision of those who will be redeemed from the earth, standing on Mount Zion along with the Lamb. In the Age of the Holy Spirit, God’s holy people who are saved “follow the Lamb wherever He goes” and “obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.” They regard the invisible cord of God’s covenant as more precious than their own lives and hold fast to it until the end. The Bible shows that they obtain eternal salvation because they keep God’s commandments and follow God wherever He goes, with absolute obedience and firm faith in Jesus who has come a second time.
Many people put all their hope in this world, mistakenly thinking that life on earth is everything. We, however, put our hope in the everlasting Kingdom of Heaven. Until we enter Heaven, we should maintain our inseparable relationship with God by fully keeping God’s covenant and commandments. We should love what God loves and hate what God hates. As the protagonists of prophecy in the Age of the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Lamb wherever He goes until the end.
We were once estranged from God because of the sins we committed in Heaven. He established the covenant to restore our relationship with God, as the parents and the children. Heavenly Father and Mother are our spiritual parents, and we are Their children. Since we have such a profound relationship with Them, we must never turn away from Their words.
Typically, people do not concern themselves with a stranger who behaves in an ungracious or improper manner; they just pass him by. However, if their own children misbehave in the same way, they address their wrongdoing by correcting and disciplining them. Before being reconciled to God, we were destined to die because of our sins. Now, however, we have a relationship with God through the New Covenant. Since we are God’s children, like Peter, we too may be disciplined when we do not obey God’s words. On the other hand, when we do obey His words, God will compliment us and pour out abundant blessings on us.
God delays punishing the evil acts of unbelievers who do not live according to God’s ways and teachings until the Judgment Day. But what if God’s children, who have returned to Zion—the city of truth, are deceived by falsehood or go astray? God will give us a chance to return to the right path by disciplining us (Heb 12:5–9). Through this process, we will be changed and have hope for salvation and the Kingdom of Heaven, though we were once bound by the flesh. As for those who refuse to turn back from their evil ways, although God gives them many chances, God will leave them alone and no longer consider them. This is when their souls are in the greatest danger.
God did not give His laws and commands for us to just obey them thoughtlessly. Each covenant and commandment contains God’s earnest and deep love for us. We should lift up our utmost thanks to God for granting us salvation through the laws, decrees, and regulations and allowing us to abide in His covenant.
From Samaria to the ends of the earth, we are the only ones who have a relationship with God through His covenant. However, there are still many people who do not have any relationship with God. We must diligently lead them all to the way of salvation, so that the relationship between the Heavenly Parents and Their children can be restored through Christ’s flesh and blood. By doing so, let us complete the work of world evangelism and deliver this great news to New Jerusalem, our Heavenly Mother.