Do we need to observe physical rituals?



Do we need to observe physical rituals (baptism, communion-Lord's supper, circumcision)?

http://forums.bible-truths.com/index.php/topic,6310.msg50888.html#msg50888 --


When I was in the Worldwide Church of God every year we celebrated Passover and we partook of Ďrealí unleavened bread and Ďrealí wineÖ not leavened bread and grape juice.  
Then we also, to out do all the other churches, we would line up all the chairs around the parameter of the hall.  Then we had plastic wash basins and warm water and a towel for every person.  Then one person would wash the person sitting down feet and they would dry off, get up and put their shoes on.  Then the one that had washed theirís would sit down and they would wash their feet.  And they would dry off and put their shoes back on.  We did this once a year.  
Why did we do that?  To fulfill the commandments, so that we could feel righteous and holy and better than others.  Did people do that everyday of their life?  NO.  Why?  Because they didnít know what it meant.  Well they knew what it meant, but they didnít think about it everyday.  Because well you only do it once a year, so Iíll think about it when itís time to do it.

That is NOT what Jesus meant when He said we should wash one anotherís feet.  
That is NOT what Jesus meant by partaking of His body and His blood either.  That one day out of the year, we eat a little wafer and drink a little grape juice.  That is not what He meant that is NOT keeping Passover or the Lordís Supper.
Cutting off the foreskin of a manís penis is NOT circumcision.  You say, Ďwell it represents carnality and so on.í  Well what do women cut off?  Are there no carnal women?  What do they cut off and how do they live by this?  

I made a list of physical rituals that carnal-minded Christians like to do, according to their faith.  Well depending on which religion, but sooner or later everybody does some of this.  The physical letter of the law can, in fact, deceive you.  
Tithing - pseudo tithing
Religious pilgrimages
Holy Day observance
Clean and unclean foods
Prayer cloths
Alter calls
Water baptism
Making vows
Anointing oil
Burning incense
Doing penance
Speaking in gibberish
Lighting candles
Holy water
Holy smoke
Last rights
Sign of the cross
Rosary beads
Wearing phylacteries
The Lordís Supper
Sabbath keeping
New moons
Prayer wheels
Religious junk

TBN every month if you send them money they will send you a piece of religious trinketry.  This month it was a little plastic egg that you can open up the top half of it, like two little doors and there is a little tiny Joseph, Mary and a little baby inside there.  Isnít that cute, thatís precious.  Every month theyíve been doing this, for some 30+ years, letís see 30 x 12 thatís close to 400 now.  Can you imagine that somebody has 400 pieces of such religious junk.  Where do they put it all?  If you gave me 400 such pieces of trinketry junk, I mean it will cover the whole floor and all the tables in here.  Itís total nonsense.  
Why do they do that?  Why do they offer you a piece of junk if you send them $50 or $100 or $1000?  Why do they do that?  Because people like religious junk.  It makes them feel godly, religious, holy or something, you see.  
Itís physical, itís tangible like;
Physical circumcision
Physical baptism
Physical communion
Physical fasting
Physical food and drink laws
Pseudo tithing
Physical prayer
Physical church and worship services
Physical Sabbath keeping
Like ALL physical rituals, itís a shadow of better thingsÖ

Heb 10:1  For the law having a shadow of the good things to come,

They represent something better.  They are almost there to deceive those that are stubborn and will not obey God.  They point to something grand, to those who do understand.  

So then are all these things done away?  Should we cut them out of the Bible and throw them away, as though they were useless?  NO.  No because they serve a purpose.  

But hereís the thing, we just read where the things of the law are the shadow of better things to come. Not the actual image itself. So we are to come out of the shadow! When you come out of the shadow you will automatically come into the light. Because if there were no light, there would be no shadow. I mean you donít come out of a shadow at midnight, because there is no light to cast a shadow. When you come out of the shadow, you come into the light.

http://forums.bible-truths.com/index.php/topic,7047.0.html --------------------

2Cor. 1:22 Who also seals us and is giving the earnest of the spirit in our hearts.

He ďis giving.Ē  Now if He gave it and we have it and itís a done deal, He doesnít have to still be giving? You talk about things that people have no concept of what itís all about. Iím not saying that to puff me up, like I understand and they donít. Iím just saying that these things are so simple and they are so familiar with them and yet they really donít know what they mean.
Like for example, all the churches have communion. Some like the Worldwide Church of God had it once a year, because it really came on the Passover and the Passover comes once a year, not every month, not every morning, but every year. Some have it four times a year and I think back when I was in that little Methodist church, we had it four times a year. Some have it once a month and I donít know if anybody has it once a week. They either have it once a month or then you go into Catholicism, every day.  
But hereís the point, why do you have it every day? They may say, Ďwell we were told to remember Him and just do this.í Well they are missing the whole point.  

The bread and the wine, they symbolize something. They donít symbolize your obedience to take this, so that you will remember that Christ shed His blood for you. Thatís not what itís about. He didnít say 'look' at the bread 'look' at the wine, this symbolizes My body and this symbolizes My blood and then put it back on the table. No, No, No EAT this bread, EAT IT. How often do we need nourishment?  ďGive us this day our daily bread.Ē ( Matt 6:11) And likewise the wineÖ

1Cor. 11:25 "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink itÖ"

You see? This is something you have to do everyday! You drink of His blood, you eat of His body, this is our spiritual nourishment. Yes this is symbolic. I mean you donít have to send for Paula Whiteís junky communion set, thatís unbelievable nonsense. You donít have to have one in your house and you donít have to have a little sip of wine and a little bread and all that. You LIVE it. If you live the spirit, you donít have to keep practicing the ritual.  

Itís like every time you come over here I wash all of your feet and you would say, Ďwhy do you wash our feet every time?í  Iíd say, oh Christ said we should wash one anotherís feet  No, I prepare a Bible study. Some times I take 10-20 hours, some times I spend weeks on a Bible study, thatís washing your feet. Thatís how I wash your feet, you serve. Thatís the whole idea behind that. Christ says, ďThe servant is not greater than his lord.Ē (John 13:16)

John 13:14  If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.

So in the Worldwide Church of God every year at Passover we would wash each others feet and forget that we should be serving.

http://forums.bible-truths.com/index.php?topic=4472.0 -----------------------

But there is only one body, one spirit. Even as you are called in one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Thereís only one baptism that counts, thatís Christís baptism. Now if your not baptized into Christ, your water baptism is of no value whatsoever  But people want to do the physical, keeping the physical. They think well I have to keep the baptism and circumcision, and every year we have to wash one anotherís feet, and we take the Passover or communion, sometimes itís six times a year, sometimes itís twice a day, whatever.  

Paul says they love the letter, their little communion thing and their little wafer (such a cute little thing) and they take their communion cup and say bless you, bless you, bless you and send me money, money, money. You have to have an anointing cloth and the hands laid on you and rubbed with oil... You got to pay your tithe and keep the Holy Days... You canít wear mixed fabrics... The clean and unclean foods... You have to keep the Sabbath... You canít work from sunset to sunset... and it just goes on and on and on. You do all these things and you will be a holy person, it will just make your heart so wonderful? But what it does is it makes hypocrites and heretics out of people.

Itís only ONE baptism and thatís JESUS CHRIST. We are baptized into His DEATH. You say I thought we were suppose to be baptized in water? No. We are baptized into His death, thatís the thing that counts. It is only one baptism, there is only one circumcision, you either get that one or you have none at all.

Col 2:10-11  ďAnd you are complete in Him, who is the Head of all principality and power, in whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without handsÖĒ

No skin, no hands, no knife, that's circumcision, okay. Continuing verse 11 ďÖ putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.Ē  
That is what it represents, ďthe flesh by the circumcision of CHRIST!Ē That is the only way it counts.  

Col 2:12  ďburied with Him in baptism, in whom also you were raised through the faith of the working of God, raising Him from the dead.Ē

Then you say, 'alright Ray there it is, we have to be baptized, canít you read it in context?' The circumcision is without hands, the baptism is without water. This is Christís circumcision, Christís baptism, Christ is the anointing, itís Christ, Christ, Christ, all of it.

If you donít see that, you are just spinning your wheels in physical rituals. You donít get any more obnoxious than holier than thou, seventh day Sabbath keepers and holy sacred name societies. Maybe itís a secret handshake, itís like you belong to the Masons and you get a secret handshake and your in, you see. Itís total nonsense.

http://bible-truths.com/lake16-D4.htm -------------------------------

It is never okay to sin. What did Paul say:

"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin [but just HOW do we get 'dead to sin?'] live any longer therein? Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? [THAT'S how we get 'dead to sin']. Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Rom. 6:1-4).

This "newness of life" means "led by the Spirit" of Jesus Christ IN US.

But here's the problem with most Christians. Most Christians have been baptized in WATER, but they have never been "baptized into His DEATH." Therefore they write me weekly telling me how important this physical ritual of water baptism is, because they have never been SPIRITUALLY "baptized into the NAME of Jesus," or "baptized into His DEATH," and therefore know nothing of the spiritual meaning of these physical symbols.

For this reason they also feel it most important to observe the physical ritual of Sabbath keeping, because they have not as yet "entered into His [SPIRITUAL] rest." ("For we which have believed DO ENTER INTO REST..." Heb. 4:3).

For this reason they feel it most important to partake of a little grape juice and a wafer on a regular basis, because they have not as yet SPIRITUALLY "eaten His body or drunk of His blood" (John 6:54).

For this reason they want to "give unto God the things that are CAESAR'S." They want to give God the filthy lucre tax money with Caesar's image on it instead of "unto God the things that [truly] ARE God's." Such as:

"WHAT? Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (I Cor. 6:19-20).

Therefore, since our bodies belong to God and ARE God's, we are to "...present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable UNTO GOD [NOT Caesar's filthy tax money], which is your reasonable [rational, intelligent] service. And be not conformed to this world, but be you transformed by the renewing ['walk in newness of life,' (Rom. 6:4), 'a new creature,' II Cor. 5:17, 'a new creature,' Gal. 6:15] of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect will of God" (Rom. 12:1-2).

For this reason they feel it most important to be physically circumcised in the flesh, because they have not as yet been circumcised "in heart and in spirit" (Rom. 28-29).

For this reason they desire physical healing over spiritual healing, etc., etc. Sadly, the Church of Christendom knows little of Christ's "words of spirit."

http://forums.bible-truths.com/index.php?topic=6142.0 -----------------


Col 2:10  And you are complete in Christ, who is the Head of all principality and power,

This is talking to the Colossians here, these are Gentiles, these are people who are trying to be the kingdom of the heavens.

Col 2:11  in whom also ye (all of you) are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands (no more physical rituals, talking about the real stuff now, in your heart - in your mind - in your soul - in your spirit), in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ,

People will say, Ďso Ray you are saying that we donít need to be baptized anymore?í  Oh I never said that.  I never said we donít have to be baptized anymore.  We have to be baptized, we have to be circumcised, we have to partake in the foot washing, we have to keep the Sabbath, we have to partake of the bread and the wineÖ  IN SPIRIT.  

If you donít do it in spirit, then forget it.  When you go down dry, youíll come up wet.  You will loose some skin and some blood and thatís all.  Youíll eat a little piece of wafer and youíll drink a little grape juice and thatís all.  This is the real thing,  SPIRITUALLY.

Spiritually you must be circumcised, you must have the foreskin of your heart, that flesh cut off.  You must be baptized with Christ, that means you have to die.  Thatís not too popular, that you have to die to the flesh.  The flesh doesnít want to die.  The flesh says, here I am look at me, donít let me die, pay attention to me, puff me up, make me great, make me important, itís flesh flesh flesh.  

We have to be crucified with Christ.

Gal 2:20  I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

But this next verse is ďburied with Him in baptism.Ē

Col 2:12  buried with Him in baptismÖ

It doesnít say buried in water.  Where do you see buried in water there?  I donít see buried in water, I see buried with Him in baptism.

Col 2:12 Öin which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

I donít see anything about water there.  You say, Ďwell thatís what itís all about isnít it?í  Paul said in the first chapter of Corinthians, Christ has not called me to baptize.

1Cor 1:17  For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel,

He said thatís not my calling, He called me to preach the gospel.  This is the gospel.  Being baptized in Christ is the gospel and persecuted with Christ, and hated of all nations.

http://bible-truths.com/email16.htm#supper ------------------------

Dear Ray,

If we are no longer, as Christians to observe the Lord's supper would you please explain (1Cor. 11:23-26) and (Acts 20:7)?


[Ray Replies]

Dear Almon:

Is it the fact that you find a Scripture stating something in the Word of God that you conclude that we should "do it?"

I have absolutely nothing against anyone who wishes to keep the Lord's supper. I have nothing against anyone who wishes to be circumcised or be baptized. I have nothing against anyone who wishes to sacrifice animals or offer sin offerings, burnt offerings, peace offerings and the like.

Gen. 6:14 commands:  "Make THEE an ark of gopher wood...." I have nothing against anyone who wants to follow this command and "Make an  ark of gopher wood."

There are hundreds of things commanded in the Scriptures. I have nothing against anyone who wishes to do ALL OF THEM. I don't. I never made an ark of gopher wood, and never intend to.  

Any just why don "I" do any of these things? Well, actually I used to do some of them. I used to pay my THREE tithes (oh you didn't know that there were THREE tithes?). I was water baptized. I used to wash my brothers feet, and I used to partake of the Lord's supper once a year. And now I don't. Why not? Because there is absolutely nothing physical that can make one spiritual.

Paul baptized at one time in his ministry and then he quit. Why? Because he put away childish things and went on to spiritual maturity.

Paul used to circumcise in his early ministry and then he quit. Why? Because he put away childish things and went on to spiritual maturity.

All physical rituals are CARNAL ordinances, and we are no longer under carnal ordinances. We are now under the "Law of the Spirit of Life." "We know longer know Jesus after the FLESH." Jesus HIMSELF said: "The flesh profits NOTHING." "The words that I speak unto you, they are SPIRIT and they are LIFE."

Although it was mighty important in Christ's time to worship in THIS mountain or in THAT mountain, Jesus Himself said that the time would come (and so it has) that we no longer worship here or there or in this manner or in that manner, with this set of physical rituals, or with that set of physical rituals, but rather WE WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH.

We are to WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH! Now then, does anyone think that we can add to those instructions by adding a few physical, carnal, rituals? I think not.

I hope this helps your understanding a little better.

God be with you,



http://bible-truths.com/email6.htm#nothing ------------------------

[Ray Replies]

Dear Lisa:

I can certainly understand your situation. There are maybe a thousand Christians churches teaching nearly the same things, however, different enough to call themselves by another name. I believe, however, that they all will take 10% of your salary and call it God's Tithe, regardless of what church YOU belong to.

There are lots of theories as to how one gets saved--what is required and what is not, what has been done away with and what has not. Usually people end up just picking a few things that they personally believe are important and try to stick to those. Maybe the one single most important physical ritual in all the Old Testament was "circumcision." The most demeaning thing that one could be called was an "Uncircumcised Gentile." Wow, how horrible.

Circumcision is the cutting of the foreskin of a boy when he is eight days old. It came to represent the purifying of the human heart. As though eight day olds could have their hearts purified.  Flesh became synonymous with a carnal mind, and mind and attitude against God's will and commandments. It was just a physical ritual of cutting off a few centimeters of skin, but it was to picture THE ACTUAL CONVERSION OF THE HUMAN HEART AND TOTAL DEDICATIONS TO GOD. And mind you, the unfortunate female could not partake of this most revered ritual at all!

Well, don't you know, all Jewish babies were circumcised, as are all orthodox babies to this day, but there was a problem. They were all physically circumcised, but almost no one was circumcised spiritually in their heart, AND THAT IS WHAT IT REPRESENTED!

It was all the circumcised Jews in Jerusalem that crucified their own Messiah. The circumcised scribes and Pharisees were among the most hypocritical pack of lying, lusting, thieves on earth. Saul of Tarsus was circumcised the eight day as commanded--he also slaughtered many in Christ's Church and became the WORST SINNER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. 

I could go on and on. By the way, that pack of cut throat murders that chanted "CRUCIFY HIM, CRUCIFY HIM"--They were the ones that BELIEVED ON JESUS, WERE BAPTIZED BY JOHN, AND KEPT THE SABBATH DAY COMMAND EVERY WEEK!!!

Yet, I get emails every week, Lisa, telling me that we MUST "keep the Sabbath," we MUST "pay our tithes," we MUST observe the "Lord's supper," we MUST be "baptized in water," "we MUST "keep the ten commandments," etc., or we CAN'T BE SAVED!!!

Satan and his ministers APPEAR as angels of light! But Jesus said, "Satan DECEIVES THE WHOLE WORLD!" Do you think that just maybe professing Christians are part of "THE WHOLE WORLD?"

Do physical rituals, SPIRITUALLY SAVE A PERSON?

Most of Christendom and their highly schooled clergymen, have not a clue that we are under A NEW COVENANT, and that it is NOT PATTERNED AFTER THE OLD COVENANT! God said:

"I will make a NEW covenant with the [spiritual] house of Israel and with the House of Judah. NOT ACCORDING... [that's 'NOT according...'] ...NOT ACCORDING to the [old] covenant that I made with their fathers..." (Heb. 8:8-9).

Yet all of Christendom virtually teaches that the New Covenant is IN ACCORD WITH THE OLD covenant. That really, the New Testament to them is "Keeping the Old covenant BETTER than they used to keep the OLD COVENANT!!! Uncircumcised, unscriptural, HOG-WASH!!

Jesus said:

"Think NOT that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, BUT TO FULFILL"

Now follow this closely:

Did not Jesus say He came to "FULFILL" the prophets?
Did He in reality and actually, "fulfill" all the prophecies concerning Himself and His ministry?

Are those very SAME prophecies, therefore, still to be continuously fulfilled, over and over and over down through the centuries?

Did Jesus also "FULFILL" the law? YES HE DID.
Are we then to continuously fulfill the law, over and over and over down through the centuries?
Contrary to all Christendom and the Supreme Court Judge of Alabama, NO WE ARE NOT!


"In that He [Jesus] said, A NEW COVENANT, he has made the first OLD. Now that which decays and waxes old is ready to VANISH AWAY" (Heb. 8:13).

Will we believe these words or not?

Here is the real answer:

"For the LOVE of Christ constrains us because we thus judge, that if One died for all, then were ALL DEAD: And that He died for all, that they which live should NOT henceforth live unto themselves, but unto HIM which died for them, and rose again. Where henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet NOW HENCEFORTH KNOW WE HIM  NO  MORE. THEREFORE if any man be IN CHRIST, he is A  NEW CREATURE: old things are passed away; BEHOLD, all things are become new"!!! (II Cor. 5:14-17).

If you are IN CHRIST, then CHRIST IS IN YOU, and Christ will live a NEW LIFE IN YOU THROUGH THE SPIRIT OF GOD, and not through the carnal minded flesh of man.


But what about all these 'physical things' of circumcision and baptism? Do we not have to be circumcised and baptized? YES WE DO! ABSOLUTELY. And here is how it is to be done:

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy [theological doctrines] and vain DECEIT, after the TRADITION OF MEN, after the RUDIMENTS OF THE WORLD, and not AFTER CHRIST. For IN HIM dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.  And YOU ARE COMPLETE IN HIM, which is the Head of all principality and power: In Whom also ye ARE CIRCUMCISED [how so?] with the circumcision made WITHOUT HANDS [or knives], in putting off the BODY OF THE SINS OF THE FLESH by the CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST: [notice, no period...] Buried WITH HIM [in 'WATER baptism?' No...] in baptism [how so? same way! 'WITHOUT HANDS; WITHOUT WATER, 'in putting off the body of the SINS OF THE FLESH by the BAPTISM OF CHRIST--there is but 'ONE BAPTISM,' Eph. 4:5!], wherein also you are risen WITH HIM through the faith of the operation of God Who has raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the UNcircumcision of your flesh, has He quickened together WITH HIM, having forgiven you ALL TRESPASSES

... Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon or of the sabbath days: Which are a SHADOW of things to come, but the body [the SUBSTANCE, the REALITY OF THE SHADOW, the BODY OF CHRIST WHICH WAS CASTING THE SHADOW] is of [or belongs to] CHRIST" (Col. 2:8-13 & 16-17)!!!

At the conference at Jerusalem spoken of in the 15th chapter of Acts, Christian Pharisees were demanding that newly converted Gentiles must BE CIRCUMCISED AND KEEP THE LAW OF MOSES.  Did the Apostles, elders, disciples, and the whole church under the inspiration of God's Holy Spirit conclude that they should:

  A. Be circumcised, but NOT to keep the law of Moses?

  B. Keep the law of Moses, but NOT to be circumcised?

  C. Be circumcised, AND keep the law of Moses?


It is, of course, NONE OF THE ABOVE. They ALL concluded in complete harmony with each other and the Spirit of God, that new Christian converts were not to be circumcised OR keep the law of Moses. Now everyone knows (don't they?) that the ritual of circumcision was the most important physical ritual in all the Old Covenant, and that that the Old Covenant itself WAS the 'Ten Commandments.'

"And He [GOD] declared unto you His [Old now] Covenant, which He commanded you to perform, EVEN TEN COMMANDMENTS; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone" (Deut. 4:13).

The TEN COMMANDMENTS were, in effect, THE OLD COVENANT! Read all of Acts 15 and see for yourself that the OLD covenant ten commandments and circumcision were NOT enforced upon NEW CHRISTIAN CONVERTS UNDER THE NEW COVENANT!

When we have JESUS CHRIST LIVING IN OUR VERY HEARTS AND MINDS AND SPIRITS, we don't need laws chiseled into hearts of STONY TABLETS!  We must live a spiritual life FAR FAR ABOVE that of the legalistic Pharisaical hypocrites that thought that obeying physical laws makes a man SPIRITUAL.

One could KILL HIS ENEMIES under the Old Covenant. Well he can't anymore. Now a Christian MUST LOVE ALL OF HIS ENEMIES! One was to performed his oaths unto the Lord in the Old Covenant, but now a Christian is "NOT TO SWEAR AT ALL."  You see NOT SWEARING is NOT the spiritual application of SWEARING. They are DIFFERENT. And the New is BETTER! One was not to commit the actual act of physical intercourse with another man's wife, under the Old Covenant. But now ... NOW, we dare not even "LOOK upon a woman to lust after her"!!!
Are you getting the picture? Are you beginning to hear with your spiritual ears and perceive with you spiritual eyes and understand in your SPIRITUAL HEART?  GOOD!   GOD BLESS YOU!

Peace and grace to you and yours, always,


P.S. God will give His Holy Spirit to those whom He has called and chosen. There are no physical formulas now that we know Christ no more after the flesh, we are COMPLETE IN HIM, which certainly includes His Holy Spirit.


[0] Message Index

Go to full version