How Clean is Your Cup? by John Kreitzer
How Clean is Your Cup?
Why everyone should fill their cup with the Word.
icon-1How Clean is Your Cup?

by John Kreitzer

In Luke 22:20, Jesus says,"This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. No one comes to the Father except through me.”


God communicates to us through his written Word in a language that can be interpreted literally while those words hold deeper spiritual meaning as well.  The above scripture for example calls the Cup which holds wine the new testament in my blood. The Cup being a symbol for the Word of God and wine from other scriptures we know represents divine wisdom and faith towards the Lord. In Mat 23:25 Jesus says,  “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites,  you  make clean the outside of the cup, but within you are full of extortion and wickedness.”  In this example cleaning the outside of the cup meant that the Pharisees performed the literal meaning of the Word or law such as obeying the ten commandments in their viewable actions but in their hearts and minds they were filled with evil motives and intents.  A cup has an inside void and wall, a middle i.e. the physical cup and the outside wall. The inside void and wall are of course the cups purpose which is to hold something. The physical matter in the middle of the two walls is the means by which this purpose is carried out getting the outside result of being able to have a cup full of coffee or liquid.  

Similarly, in all that is divine, there is a primary component, a middle component, and an outermost component. The primary component is God’s purpose and his purpose affects and instructs the middle component which represents God’s means to a result with that result being the outermost component. People who understand this also understand that the outermost component of every divine work is complete and perfect, and everything is present in that outermost component because prior components are collectively present in it. As a result, the outermost component or result is a foundation. Because the outermost component is both a container and a foundation, it is also a structural support which is why a cup is a perfect item to use to describe God’s Word and why Jesus used it in his condemnation of the Pharisees. Jesus, therefore, instructed them, “ Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup, so that the outside of them may be clean also.”  To clean the inside the cup we understand that he was telling the Pharisees if they monitored their intents and thoughts to be in align with God’s will then their outside actions would be based on God’s perfect will instead of being driven by worldly desires and wickedness. To the outside observer nothing would change but to Christ their actions now would connect them to him and be worthy of salvation.  

The Rev. John Clowe explains, “As we see the outside of the cup above is equivalent to the outermost or literal component of God’s Word. The Word’s literal meaning is the foundation, the container, and the structural support for its spiritual and heavenly meanings. This shows what the Word is like. Inside its literal meaning, which is earthly, there is an inner meaning that is spiritual; and inside the spiritual meaning, there is an innermost meaning that is heavenly. The outermost meaning, which is earthly and is called the literal meaning, is a container for the two inner meanings. Therefore it is a foundation for them and also a structural support. Since heaven is God’s form then heaven also has a heavenly most interior that goes forth through a spiritual level to an outward level that contains it. Therefore it follows that without its literal meaning the Word would be like a palace without a foundation. It would be like a palace in the air, not on the ground, which would be only a shadow of a palace, and shadows disappear. In fact, without its literal meaning the Word would be like a human body without the coverings called the skin and membranes or the structural supports called the bones. Without these all the inner organs would fall apart. Christians are therefore important to God because we are equivalent to the exterior of his heavenly realm of which if we were not reformed from sinners to children in his image there would be no need for heaven or final structural support for heaven’s existence.” This is also why studying the Word of God is so powerful when we believe and do what is taught to avoid sin. Doing so lets God fill us like a precious vessel with his priceless spirit. Through the example of what God taught the Pharisees, he says when we “clean the inside of our cup” in this manner our inner soul is forcibly shaped into his image so a connection can be made with him to fill our soul with his holy spirit and the resulting intent in our will becomes his purpose which is Godly. The external physical life we live in this condition is thus naturally a form that is pleasing and acceptable to him and is of great value. Therefore an earthly life that does not have external sin in it, if it is not accompanied with the purpose of not sinning to honor God, through which those actions allow Christ to justify us, that life is of no value to the Lord and we will find no place in his heavenly kingdom.  

But doesn't Paul state in Romans 3:28 "We are justified by faith apart from the works of the Law" Yes however "the works of the Law" he is referencing are the five books of Moses which are called "the Law" as seen in Deuteronomy 31:9,11,12,26 as well as in the New Testament in Luke 2:22; 24:44; John 1:45; 7:22, 23; 8:5; and elsewhere. He is not speaking of the Ten Commandments. This is clear from the words that follow Romans, as well as from Paul's words to Peter chiding him for making others follow Jewish Religious practices i.e. "the Law." In this latter context Paul says three times in one verse, "No one is justified by the works of the Law" as seen in Galatians 2:14,16. Anyone teaching that this is meant to cover the Ten Commandments is deceiving you.

Clowe summarizes the above stating, "We all have two faculties of life which are our intellect and our will. Our intellect is a vessel for truth and therefore for wisdom; our will is a vessel for goodness and therefore for goodwill. For us to become part of the church, these two parts of us have to become one. The two parts do in fact become one when we build our intellect with genuine truths from the Word resulting in our will being filled with goodness and love. The Lord assists us in the first part while letting it have the appearance that we are doing it of our own accord while the latter is done by the Lord. Then the life of truth and the life of goodness are in us - the life of truth in our intellect and the life of goodness in our will. When these two lives are united, they become one life, not two. This is the marriage between the Lord and the church; it is also the marriage between goodness and truth in us of which we know the Lord is that truth because Christ says in John 14:6, "I am the way and the truth and the life."

Clowe's conclusion was, "So Divine forgiveness is as constant, and as eternal, as Divine Love. But forgiveness does not take away a man's disposition to do evil. But when the man sees his evil natural condition, and acknowledges it, and looks to the Lord for help, the Lord's power can enter into the man, and inwardly uphold him, because he opens his will, his understanding and his life, to the Divine Influence. And then the Lord can withhold the man from evil; and can help him to say, "I have kept myself from mine iniquity."

The man can use the Lord's power to help him, only so long as he is, willing to co-operate with that power.

Divine Mercy is not, in any case, from any change in the disposition of the Lord towards the sinner, but in the disposition of the sinner, himself. When the sinner looks to the Lord, in love, the Divine Mercy can do, for the sinner, and in him, what the man would not, before, allow it to do, but what it was always seeking to do.

Divine forgiveness is not a thing of the past, nor merely of the future, but of the present. If we now are withheld from evil and sin, it is because we now acknowledge our weakness, and accept the Lord's aid, and keep his commandments to receive that aid. We ourselves are incapable of overcoming sin or doing any good. It is only God working through us, while we are in a receptive state, that We are sustained, at each moment, by the life which momentarily comes to us from the Lord. The law of spiritual life is use. What we use is ours; what we neglect, we lose."

In closing I suggest we heed God's instruction in James 1: 20, which states, "Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and every expression of evil, and humbly receive the word planted in you, which can save your souls."


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