Happy Heralds, Inc
NOTES ON DISCIPLESHIP
by Dr. Fred Wittman
BEING AVAILABLE FOR THE GOD TO USE!
Introduction: In order to be properly available for God to use, we must have the whole picture of what God’s business is about. What business is God about in this present age? Jesus told us in Matthew 16:18! He said, “I shall build My Church.” On the Day of Pentecost when the disciples of The Lord Jesus Christ were baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-8;2:1-4 cf. 1 Cor. 12:12,13), He began building His worldwide Church!
When the deacons of his home church decided to send the author, wife and two children to Australia as missionaries, he realized a need to carefully investigate all that The Scriptures say about the plan of the God for building the Church belonging to The Lord Jesus Christ so that he fit into His plan for The Christ’s fellow workers. A proper study of the building of His Church includes investigating what The Scriptures say concerning: the Mystery, Manifestation, Motives, Message, Mandate, Method, Manner, Mobilization, and the Means by which The Lord Jesus Christ will Build His worldwide Church. However, the study before us deals with the fellow workers which he will use in this tremendous operation. But it is essential to get a picture of God’s great plan and how to find out where you and I fit, so we can be available when He is ready to use us. He stated, “I shall build My Church” - Five very important words! Remember The Lord Jesus Christ is The Builder; we are His fellow workers (1 Cor. 3:9,10).
“For we are God’s fellow-workers. . . . According to the grace of The God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid down foundation, but another buildeth upon |it|. But let each one constantly beware [see] how he continues building upon |it|!” (1 Cor. 3:9,10 APT).
Who ever built anything lasting without plans? What results when plans are not followed? Chaos, ultimate disintegration, and destruction--chaos, ruin! Many years ago a Philadelphia construction contractor was engaged in constructing a sizeable, tall building. However his greed influenced him to cut corners. He saw an opportunity to save thousands of dollars by using a grade of concrete less than the architect specified in the plans. Later it cost him millions and bankruptcy because the building collapsed into ruins merely because he did not build according to the plans. The Lord Jesus Christ had plans for building His Church. Do you know what they are? Why not?
Jesus did not explicitly relate how He would build His Church. Yet because the plans are not clearly laid out and labeled does not mean that He didn’t have any plans or that we are not responsible to know and follow them. What would you do if The Lord Jesus Christ came here this hour and told you His plans for building His world-wide Church and indicated that those plans included you? Well, even though He does not come in person, He could speak to you by His Holy Spirit by means of His Holy Scriptures. The Lord Jesus did progressively reveal to His disciples His plans for building His world-wide Church and those plans are recorded in His Word. We need to study those plans so we may build according to plan or there will be chaos! And so when we are called to give accountability of our service at the Judgement Seat if Christ, we may be approved and commended. We need to see the whole picture.
I. The Lord Jesus Christ Progressively Revealed His Plan To Build His World-wide Church (Mt. 16:15-21).
“He says to them, But yourselves, Whom are you& saying that I am continuing to be? Then Simon Peter answered and said, You$ Yourself are continuously The Christ, The Son of The Absolutely Living God. And /Jesus answered and said to him, You $ are continually a blessed one, Simon Bar [son] Jonah; because flesh and blood did not reveal |this| to you$, but on the contrary My /Father, |namely| The+ One in The Heavens. Now I Myself also say to you$, “You$ yourself are Peter and upon this /rock ledge I shall build My /church. And Hell’s gates shall not prevail against it. And I will give to you $ the keys to the kingdom of the Heavens. And what thing ever you$ bind upon the Earth shall be a bound thing in the Heavens. And what thing ever you$ loose upon the Earth shall be a loosed~ thing in the Heavens.” At that time He explicitly ordered His /disciples that they say to not one that He is Jesus The Christ. From that time /Jesus began to show to His /disciples that it is absolutely necessary for Him to depart unto Jerusalem$ and to suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and to be killed, and to be raised up in the third day” (Mt. 16:15-21 APT).
After stating His intention to build His Church, he indicated the basic necessity for Him to endure a crucifixion death and be resurrected in order to be able to build Her. But there are further orders to be revealed to His disciples in regard to His departure to His Father and to the means of building His Church.
A. He repeated what was going to happen to Him, adding to the description each time (Mt. 17:22,23; 20:17-19; 26:30,31).
After descending Mount Hermon and Caesarea Philippi: “Now as they were turning up in /Galilee, /Jesus said to them, The Son of /Man [Human] shall be betrayed into hands of humans and they shall kill Him and He shall be raised up in the third day. And they were extremely grieved” (Mt. 17:22,23 APT).
One week before the crucifixion: “And when /Jesus ascended unto Jerusalem$ He took the twelve disciples aside privately in the way and He said to them, Lo! we ascend unto Jerusalem$ and The Son of /Man [Human] shall be betrayed to the chief priests and scribes. And they shall condemn Him to punishment by death. And they shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And in the third day He shall resurrect” (Mt. 20:17-19 APT).
In the streets of Jerusalem on the way to the Garden of Gethsaymahnáy: “And after singing an hymn, they departed unto The Mount of /Olives. At that time /Jesus says to them, You& all yourselves shall be [offended, scandalized, caused to stumble] by means of Me in this /night; for it stands written, I will smite The Shepherd and the sheep of the fold shall be scattered abroad. But after the fact of Me being raised up, I will lead before you& into Galilee” (Mt. 26:30-32 APT).
It was necessary for the disciples to know that only through suffering crucifixion could there be glory (Heb. 2:9,10; 1 Pet. 1:11) before He could build His Church. All fellow workers must suffer having the flesh crucified before they can participate in building His Church.
Together these announcements comprised the elements of the concise Gospel that Paul preached (cf. 1 Cor. 15:3-5a).
“For I delivered over to you& among first things what also I received, that Christ died off in behalf of our /sins according to The Scriptures and that He was buried and that He was permanently raised up in the third day according to The Scriptures and that He was beheld . . .” (1 Cor. 15:3-5a).
B. Jesus indicated He would meet with His Disciples in Galilee. Why Galilee?
Twice Galilee was stressed as the meeting place between The Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples.
On the resurrection morning the angel spoke to Mary Mahgdahlaynáy and Mary, the mother (15:40) of James: “And quickly journey! Say to His /disciples! ‘‘He is raised up away from the dead ones. And lo! He leads before you& into /Galilee. You& shall behold Him there.’’ Lo! I told you&” (Mt. 28:7 APT cf. Mk. 15:6,7 APT).
Later that morning The Lord Jesus Himself met the women on the way to tell His disciples in Jerusalem and He told them, “Stop fearing! Slip away! Report to My /brothers that they depart unto /Galilee and there they shall behold Me.”(Mt. 28:9,10).
Why Galilee? Did The Lord Jesus intend to complete His ministry to His disciples there? Peter needed to be restored and further orders were required in order for the disciples to adequately follow His plan for building His Church. Was not His practice of revealing the future in stages by adding a little more on each occasion, as He did concerning His crucifixion-death, burial, resurrection, and departure to the Father, also applied to his plans for building His Church?
After the resurrection day events recorded by him, Mark (16:14-20) omits intervening events and mentions the ascension forty days later. Luke also omits intervening events from that Sunday evening until the ascension (24:32-51). Matthew refers to a later meeting with the eleven in Galilee (28:16-20). But John records some of the intervening events. He records Jesus meeting the disciples with Thomas missing (20:19) and breathing new life (see EXCURSUS under HAVE YOU GOT THE GIFT? on our webpage) upon them (20:21,22). Then later in the evening the next Sunday night (eight days after), Thomas was with them in Jerusalem (20:26). Then John records Peter’s return to Galilee to resume His fishing business. Jesus met seven of the disciples on the shore of Galilee and provided breakfast followed by the restoration of Peter in love (chapter 21). It is after this that the meeting on the mountain (Tabor?) took place in Galilee.
Why Galilee? To expand upon His third commandment and to give His fourth commandment to the eleven disciples -- the core group of the first church (Mt. 28:16-20).
1. His third Commandment (Mk. 16:15).
In the evening on the day of resurrection, according to Mark (16:9-15), after appearing to the two on the road to Ehmmahoús (v. 12 cf. Lk. 24:13-33), Jesus appeared unto the eleven (v, 16), “And He said to them, Journey unto the entire world and proclaim the gospel [evangel] as an herald to every creature!” (Mk. 16:15 APT). Note the Greek word The Lord Jesus used, πορευθέντεϛ. It is precisely translated ‘journey.’ However this grammatical form is an aorist participle which is a verbal form and here it is functioning as an adverb modifying the aorist imperative verb κηρύξατε. In this context it is obviously a participle of attendant circumstances which offers a choice of ‘and,’ then,’ ‘also,’ or ‘even’ but calls for ‘and’ in this situation. ‘Journey’ is the word often used to refer to our course through life. On our course through life, we the disciples of The Lord Jesus Christ are to journey unto the entire world and proclaim as an herald, i.e. publish, announce the gospel publicly to every creature.
Many who desire to fulfill the commission, after journeying to proclaim as an herald or publish the gospel, think they have obeyed and fulfilled their obligation if they ‘make converts.’ But according to Mark’s account nothing is said of making converts. The emphasis is upon “proclaiming as an herald to every creature.” But too often we stop at the obvious and fail to look for and question, Are there further orders? As a result there is failure to complete the rest of the responsibility which The Lord Jesus imposed upon His disciples in Galilee. Our Lord, Jesus Christ did not include the making of converts in His commission either in Mark or in Matthew or by Luke. That is the work of the Holy Spirit. It is The God that gives the increase (1 Cor. 3:7). That’s His responsibility. Our responsibility is limited to sowing and watering and fulfilling the responsibility that The Lord Jesus added later.
2. His codicil to His third commandment (Mt. 28:18-19a):
On the mountain (Tabor?) in Galilee He provided more information that precluded ‘simply proclaiming the gospel to the world and insisting upon response by people becoming converts, but not going further.’ The Lord Jesus Christ made it very clear that those who would be workers in building His Church had an on-going task which would take the rest of their lives to fulfill.
“Then the eleven disciples journeyed into /Galilee, into the mountain where /Jesus Himself arranged with them. And when they beheld Him, they bowed in homage to Him. But some wavered. And when /Jesus approached, He spoke to them, saying, All authority is given to Me in Heaven and upon Earth. Therefore journey& and consecutively disciple [train by intimate process] people of all the [metonymy]nations! . . .” (Mt. 28:16-19a APT).
The Lord Jesus Christ states that all authority is given to Him both in Heaven and upon Earth. With that authority He has invested authority, not only to proclaim the Gospel as an herald, but in addition, authority to train intimately individuals of all the nations to become disciples of The Lord Jesus Christ.
It is interesting to note that the same word for ‘journey’ used by our Lord on the Day of resurrection-ascension is the same word in the same grammatical form, an aorist participle. This would indicate that it should be taken as a participle of attendant circumstances as in Mark, which would read, ‘Journey and consecutively make disciples of people of all nations!’ This would indicate that Jesus was reemphisizing the previous mandate to the disciples and adding further instructions. Or it could be taken as a temporal participle which would read one of two ways using either ‘when,’ or ‘after.’ It would then read, ‘When’ or ‘after’ journeying, consecutively make disciples of people of all nations!’ This would assume that the disciples were going to obey the first mandate recorded by Mark and only needed further instructions. Either way is grammatically correct, but why take an alternate reading when the same usage with an aorist imperative verb is used? The same grammatical form in both Gospels is preferred.
Likely the question will be raised by some, If the imperative verb μαθητεύω is aorist, why is the word ‘consecutively’ used to modify it? It is taken as a constative aorist 3 because it is the only aorist form that fits. A constative aorist 3 is the grammatical form in which the action of the event is regarded in its entirety as a whole regardless of the extent of its duration with reference to successive events. The successive events of discipling or making disciples cannot be in a moment of time because it is a drawn out process which took The Lord Jesus, the Master in making disciples, three years or more. It is a process over an extended period of time. But the task of reaching the world, if every one reached only one in the lifetime, would be impractical and improbable if not impossible. Also it would not be following the example The Lord Jesus gave to His disciples. So it must be constative aorist 3 which indicates consecutive events.
In addition to proclaiming the Gospel unto the entire world, the true disciples of The Lord Jesus Christ are to keep on making disciples, that is to intimately teach one on one or two at a time, and this consecutively one after another. When one disciple matures to the point of disclpling others who are discipling others, the responsibility is not over. The joy of this accomplishment should be an impetus to disciple more people. The task is consecutive. It is an on-going responsibility to which there is no retirement. However as one gets much older, there is just a lesser number of people that The Lord gives to disciple, but the task continues.
Therefore, in addition to the command to journey to proclaim the gospel as an herald unto the entire world, He included three additional responsibilities: (1) consecutively make disciples of people of all nations (a metonymy); then he gave the fourth commandment which contained (2) and (3) entered below.
3. The fourth commandment by The Lord Jesus Christ:
“. . . then baptize them into the name of The Father and of The Son and of The Holy Spirit! and repeatedly teach them in public to keep all things as many as I commanded you& watchfully secure! And lo! I Myself am continually with you& all the days until the consummation of the age. Amen!” (Mt. 28:19b-20 APT).
There are two more participles in this fourth command by The Lord Jesus Christ. The true disciples of The Lord Jesus Christ, are required to perform two additional responsibilities in regard to building His Church: (2) baptize those disciples they made; and following that (3) repeatedly teach them publicly to keep as many things as Jesus commanded watchfully secure.
a. βαπτίζοντεϛ is an aoristic present attendant circumstantial participle which closely follows the main verb therefore the circumstance of the punctiliar action follows the making of disciples because of its location with reference to the main verb, but even more pertinently because of the pronoun ‘them,’ which is the direct object of the participial phrase which refers to the disciples, the ones you have discipled. Not children! Not converts! But disciples! This pronoun ‘them’ insists that the ones we baptize are indeed disciples. Note how The Lord Jesus Christ describes His disciples in the following texts: Luke 9:23-25,57-62; 14:23-33; John 8:31; 13:35; 15:8,16! Therefore after the process of discipling, when the candidate has achieved recognition as a disciple who has reckoned self to be dead to sin (Gal. 2:20), the flesh (Gal. 5:24), and the world (Gal. 6:14), ‘then’ and not till then he or she is to be buried in baptism (Rom. 6:1-7).
Of course one cannot disciple others if one has not been discipled oneself. Nor can one baptize or even encourage another to be baptized others if one has not been baptized oneself. For helps on discipling others order samples of discipleship materials from our webpage. For basic information on Baptism For a detailed study on Your Reasonable Service go to How to Mature in Christ Stage 2: Little Children, Chapter VI, page 64.
b. διδάσκοντεϛ is also present attendant circumstantial participle. Since it is linear action, it is an on-going process, thus it carries the concept of ‘‘repeatedly, publicly instructing a congregation or a group in doctrine. It comes after the act of baptizing. Therefore, since they would be journeying to nations throughout the entire world, this would mean to those ignorant of Christ, His work, His Word, and His Church. Since this is true, in order to publicly instruct a congregation, it is necessary first to congregate them, so as ultimately to form a local church. And this is what the early disciples, apostles, and missionaries did, first in the synagogues and later in house churches (Acts 1:13,14; 2:46,47; 5:42; 12:12; Rom. 16:5; Col. 4:15; Phile. 2,3).
“And when they entered, they ascended into the upper story which is where . . . the eleven were constantly abiding |through Festival time |. These all were remaining in constant readiness unanimously in /prayer and in /supplication together with women and Mary the mother of Jesus and together with His /brothers” (Acts 1:13,14 APT).
“From day to day both persevering unanimously in the Temple and breaking a bread loaf into pieces from house to house, they received a share of nourishment together in exceeding gladness and simplicity of heart, while praising The God and having grace with the whole |body of | people. Then the Lord added to the church from day to day the ones being saved” (Acts 2:46, 47 APT).
“Every day both in the Temple and from house to house, they were not ceasing teaching and pronouncing glad tidings [evangel, gospel] with reference to Jesus, The Christ” (Acts 5:42 APT).
“And when he became conscious of |this|, he came upon the dwelling of Mary the mother of John, who was entitled, Mark, where a considerable |number of | ones were being assembled together and praying” (Acts 12:12 APT). “Ceremonially greet . . . the church which is at their house!” (Rom. 16:5 APT).
“Greet the brothers in Lah-ohdeekeé-ah and Numfâhs and the church pertaining to his house” (Col. 4:15 APT).
“Paul, bound one for Christ Jesus, and Timothy, our brother, to Feeláymohn, the beloved one and our fellow worker, and to Ahpféeah, the beloved^ one and to Ahrkéeppohs, our /fellow soldier and to the church at your house” (Phile. 2,3 APT)
C. Just before ascending to His throne in Heaven, He reemphasized the third commandment stressing even the last part of the whole world and adding the concept of acting as judicial witnesses with reference to Him (Acts 1:8).
“Just prior to His ascension: But you& shall receive miraculous power, after The Holy Spirit alights upon you& and you& shall be judicial witnesses with reference to Me both in Jerusalem and in all /Judea and in Samaria and as far as 0last |part| of the Earth” (Acts 1:8 APT).
n.b. Since Jesus was tried, crucified enduring God’s wrath, rose again, and completed Salvation and Redemption by ascending and applying His blood on the Mercy Seat, He is building His World-wide Church through disciples available for God to use. It is the only way His Church will be built in the Kingdom of God. Other methods build another church in the kingdom of Heaven.
II. The Lord Jesus Christ’s Plan Requires His Fellow-Workers To Be Readily Available:
“Because of this you& yourselves also become ready ones! Because in what hour you& do not suppose, The Son of /Man [Human] is coming” (Mt. 24:44 APT).
A. In Preparation:
1. First Step: To Submit to The Savior’s determined will: (For a detailed study go to
a. Take up your cross (Lk.9:23-25);
And He was repeatedly saying to all, If (and it is true) anyone determinedly wills to come after Me, he is to utterly deny himself! And he is to carry off his /cross daily! And he is to continually follow Me! For who ever determinedly will to save his natural /life [soul] shall lose [ruin, destroy, perish] it; but who ever lose[ruin, destroy, perish] his /natural life[soul] for My cause, this one shall save it. For what is a human being profited by gaining the whole world, but losing[ruin, destroy, perish] or suffering loss of himself? (Lk.9:23-25 APT),
For a detailed study on ‘denying self’ go to The Disciplined Life # 1 under Discipleship on our website.
b. Reckon yourself dead (Rom. 8:6-11; Gal. 2:20; 5:24; 6:14);
(1) to sin,
For the frame of mind of the flesh |is| death! But the frame of mind of The Spirit |is| absolute life and peace! for the reason that the frame of mind of the flesh |is| enmity against God! For it is not under subjection to the law of The God. For neither is it possible. Now the ones being habitually in flesh are not able to please God. But you yourselves are not habitually in flesh, but in Spirit, if indeed God’s Spirit continually dwells in you&. Now if (and it is true) anyone is not continually having Christ’s Spirit, this one is not of Him. But if (and it is true) Christ |is| in you&, on the one hand the body |is| dead because of sin, but on the other hand the spirit |is| absolute life because of righteousness. But if (and it is true) The Spirit of Him |Who| raised up Jesus out of dead ones is continually dwelling in you&, The One |Who | raised up The Christ out of dead ones also shall make the mortal bodies of yours& absolutely alive by means of His /indwelling Spirit in you&” (Rom. 8:6-11 APT).
“I stand crucified together with Christ, but I absolutely live. No longer myself, but Christ absolutely lives in me. In fact what I now absolutely live in 0flesh, I absolutely live by means of faith^, |namely | the^ one of The Son of The God, Who loved me and delivered Himself over in my behalf”(Gal. 2:20 APT).
(2) to self,
“Now the ones+ belonging to The Christ are crucified with reference to the flesh together with the sufferings and the passionate lusts” (Gal. 5:24 APT).
(3) to the world,
“But may it never be for myself to boast except in the cross of The Lord of ours, Jesus Christ, through Whom 0world is crucified to myself and myself to the world!” (Gal. 6:14 APT).
For a detailed study on ‘reckoning self dead’ go to The Disciplined Life # 2 under Discipleship on our website.
(4) Offer Your Body as An Absolutely Living Sacrifice and become God’s bondslave
“I entreat you& therefore, O brothers, by means of the compassions of The God, to offer[t.t., lit.: stand alongside] as a sacrifice your& bodies an absolutely living sacrifice, holy, well-pleasing to The God, |namely| your& spiritually reasonable sacred service. And stop fashioning yourselves together to this age, but on the contrary continually be transformed by the renewing of your& comprehension, in order for you& to prove by testing what the beneficially good and well-pleasing and perfectly complete, determined will of The God |is|” (Rom. 12:1,2).
The Greek word for ‘offer’ παρίστημι is a technical term used to indicate ‘standing alongside’ the priests when offering a sacrifice.
For a detailed study on Your Reasonable Service go to How to Mature in Christ Stage 2: Little Children, Lesson VII, page 68.
2. Second Step: Study The Word:
a. Read it Daily (1 Tim. 4:13);
“Until I come, hold fast[on guard] to the reading, to the entreaty, to the teaching!” (1 Tim. 4:13 APT).
For a detailed study on Reading God’s Word go to How to Mature in Christ Stage 1: Babes, Lesson III: Flourishing, page 19.
b. Study it faithfully (1 Tim. 2:15).
“Give persevering attention of yourself to stand tried and approved after examination alongside The God, an unashamed worker correctly understanding and expounding The Word of The Truth!” (2 Tim. 2:15 APT).
3. Third Step: Be Schooled -- first personally discipled and then if The Lord leads to formally train for ministry in Bible College and / or Seminary (Acts 19:8-10). Paul initiated such two-to- three years of training in Ephesus from which Bible School (Institute, College, Seminary) all the people of one whole region of Asia minor heard the truth of the Gospel, thus fulfilling the mandate The Lord Jesus Christ gave to His disciples. Additionally, some local churches in addition to the one at Ephesus were established as a result of this obedience (namely at Colosse, Smyrna, Pehrgáhmohs, Thuáteh-eerah, Sárdeh-ees, Philadelphia, and Lah-ohdeekeé-ah).
“Then after entering into the synagogue, he repeatedly spoke boldly for three months, discoursing and persuading the things concerning the Kingdom of The God. But as some became hardened and were continually refusing to commit trust and continually speaking evil of The Way in the presence of the multitude, he stood off away from them and segregated the disciples and continued discoursing daily in the school of a certain Tú-rahnnus. Now this occurred for two years so that all the ones residing in /Asia [Ahséeah] heard the word of The Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks” (Acts 19:8-10 APT).
B. In Practicality:
1. Supplicate The Lord of the Harvest (Mt. 9:37,38);
While the author studied at Bible College, he was asked to be the prayer leader for the Far Eastern Prayer Group of Student Missionary Fellowship during his Senior year. Each week before meeting for prayer, it was the leader’s responsibility to remind the group of the prayer requests. Invariably there was a request that twenty five couples would be raised up for Australia. Two years later he and his wife became one of those couples who went to Australia. When we supplicate The Lord of Harvest to raise up and send forth laborers, we ourselves must be willing to go should The Lord make it plain that he is leading the way. Not withstanding The Lord Jesus Christ exhorted His disciples to supplicate The Lord for laborers to be sent forth or literally be cast out.
“At that time He says to His /disciples, On the one hand the harvest |is| great, but on the other hand the workers+ |are| few! Therefore supplicate The Lord of The Harvest so that He drive[cast] out workers+ into His /harvest!” (Mt. 9:37,38 APT).
2. Support The Lord’s true work (distinguish between the work for the kingdom of Heaven and that done in the Kingdom of God. For a study of the differences click on Comparison of the Kingdom of God And Kingdom of Heaven on our website.) -- become a good steward as Paul exhorted the Corinthians to be (2 Cor. 9:7-11) and as Paul thanked the Philippians for being (Phil. 4:10,15-18);
Each one according as he for himself chose beforehand in his heart, not out of grief or out of necessity, for The God loves a cheerfully generous [hilarious] giver. Now The God is Powerful to cause every grace to be in abundance unto you& in order that you&, having all contentment independent of circumstances in all things all the time, be in abundance unto every beneficially good work. According as it stands written, [Ps. 112:9] He scattered [Prov. 11:24]; he gave to the needy ones; the righteousness of his continually abides for /ever. Now may The One, abundantly supplying seed to the one sowing, both fully supply bread for eating and multiply your& sown seed and increase the products of the righteousness of yours&, being ones enriched in everything unto all generosity^, whichever^ performs through us thanksgiving to The God” (2 Cor. 9:7-11 APT).
“But I rejoiced in 0Lord greatly because once at last you flourished again, with
reference to the process of minding in behalf of me, for whom you& also were continually minding, but you& were continually being without opportunity. . . . Now O Philippians, you& also yourselves are aware that in the gospel’s 0beginning, when I departed away from Mahkehdohnéeah, not one church fellowshipped with me in an account of giving and of receiving except yourselves only. Because even in Thehssahlohnéekay even once, in fact twice, you& sent unto my /need. Not that I am anxiously seeking the gift, but on the contrary, I am
anxiously seeking the fruit which keeps abounding unto your& /account. Now I fully receive all~ things and I am in abundance. I stand fully filled since | I | hospit-ably received from alongside of Ehpah-fróhdeetohs the things from alongside
you&, an odor of sweet-fragrance, an accepted sacrifice, well-pleasing to The God.
3. Serve as a disciple and continually follow The Lord Jesus Christ (Jn. 12:26)!
“If (and it may be) anyone domestically serve [attend to needs] Me, he is to continually follow Me! And where I am Myself continuously being, there also /My /domestic servant shall be” (John 12:26 APT).
For more input on ‘following as a disciple’ go to The Call to Discipleship notes under Discipleship on our webpage.
C. In Propriety:
1. In Purity -- be sanctified (1 Jn. 3:3; 2 Tim. 2:21);
“And everyone who has this /hope in him continually purifies himself according as That One is pure” (1 John 3:3 APT).
“Therefore if (and it may be) anyone purge himself away from these, he shall be a vessel unto highly respected precious value, standing sanctified and very beneficially kind to The Absolute Master and standing prepared unto every beneficially good work” (2 Tim. 2:21 APT).
2. In Prudence:
a. To Journey to Minister ( Acts 13:1-4; 16:8-10) where The Spirit leads as Paul did ;
“Now certain ones+, being in Antioch [Ahnteeóh-khay-ah] with reference to the church, who were prophets and teachers: both Bahrnáhbahs and Sumeh-ōn, the one titled, Néegehr and Loúkee-ohs, the Kuráynian and Mahnah-áyn, a nourished together one with Herod the tetrarch [provincial sovereign] and Saul. Now as they publicly ministered to The Lord and fasted, The Holy /Spirit said, Segregate indeed for Me both /Bahrnáhbahs and Saul unto the work to which I have summoned them for Myself. At that time, after fasting and praying and placing their /hands upon them, they dismissed |them|. Consequently these, being sent out by the Holy /Spirit, went down unto /Seh-leúkee-ah and from there they sailed away unto Cyprus. And when they emerged in Sah-lahmées, they began proclaiming The Word of The God everywhere in the synagogues of the Jews” (Acts 13:1-4 APT).
“Now after going through /Frugéeah and the Galatian region and were hindered by The Holy Spirit to speak The Word in /Asia[Ahséeah]. After they came against
/Muséeah, they tried to journey throughout /Bee-thu-néeah and The Spirit did not allow them. Then passing alongside /Mu-sée-ah, they descended unto Trō-ahs. And an extraordinary appearance was beheld by /Paul through the nighttime. A certain man [husband] of Mahkehdohnéeah was standing and persistently entreating him and repeatedly saying, Traverse into Mahkehdohnée-ah at once and hurry to help us! Then as he beheld the extraordinary appearance substantiating that The Lord for Himself has summoned to us to evangelize them, immediately we began seeking to exit unto Mahkehdohnéeah” (Acts 16:8-10 APT).
b. To Be Still (Ps. 46:10; Acts 9:26-30)
There are times when God puts us in a position where we wait for Him to open the door of opportunity to do what we interpreted His will to be. In these times it is imperative to be still and wait upon The Lord as we are exhorted in Scripture.
“Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10).
“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD” (Psalm 27:14).
“And therefore will the LORD wait, that He may be gracious unto you, and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for Him” (Isaiah 30:18).
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
In fear that he would be slain, the Jerusalem church sent Saul away from Jerusalem to Tahrsóhs for 6 years before Bahrnáhbahs came to take him to Antioch. What did he do there? It is not recorded that a church was existing at Tahrsóhs. He must have studied at the University (one of three in the Greek empire established by Alexander the Great: in Antioch, in Alexandria, and in Tahrsohs). How else could Paul be knowledgeable to reason with the philosophers at Athens and quote their poets and refer to the Cretian literature in his Epistle to Titus?
D. In Proclamation:
1. To Testify as a Juducial Witness (1 Pet. 3:15; Acts 1:8);
“But sanctify The Lord God in your hearts, in fact always |be| ready ones for an answer in defense with meekness and fear to everyone who petitions you an account of the hope in you while having a beneficially good conscience!” (1 Pet. 3:15,16 APT).
To be ready, one must be prepared with the answer. We need to know the full answer so well that we can freely tell the whole story so that the one inquiring can appropriate God’s full and free salvation readily (see Fragmentary or Full Salvation on the web page under Leaflets).
“But you shall receive miraculous power, after The Holy Spirit alights upon you and you shall be judicial witnesses with reference to Me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and in Samaria and as far as last |part| of the Earth” (Acts 1:8 APT).
This mandate for true disciples calls for them to be judicial witnesses with reference to The Lord Jesus Christ, even if it means death. The Greek word for judicial witnesses is mártus, the word from which we get martyr. The exact meaning of mártus is “judicial witness even if it means death.” A judicial witness is a legal witness responsible to tell all that he knows in reference to the person for whom he or she is a witness. When called upon, the witness must tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, but it must be confined to that about which the witness has first hand knowledge as to the matter at hand. With reference to The Lord Jesus Christ, when The Holy Spirit directs or calls upon the disciple to witness, Who The Lord Jesus Christ is, all that He is, what He has done, and what He will do must be told. All this cannot be told in a few words. He is not just Lord, He is The Lord -- The only Lord of Heaven and Earth (Acts 17:24), so it is with The Christ. He is not just a The Savior Who died on the cross, He is The Only Savior Who was made sin for us (2 Cor. 5:21); and He Himself bore up our sins in His own body on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24) and He endured the fiery wrath of The God in darkness on that cross for sin (Lam. 1:12-14; 3:1,2; Lk. 23:44); and He resurrected the third day (1 Cor 15:4) to become The Great High Priest (Heb. 4:14; 9:11-14, 24-26) Who applied His blood on the Mercy Seat in Heaven for our justification (Rom. 4:25 cf. Heb. 9:11-14,24-26) and propitiation (satisfaction of The God’s righteous demands (1 Jn. 2:1,2). We must tell the whole story. If we only tell part of the truth we are not good judicial witnesses.
2. To proclaim as an herald as explained above under B. Jesus indicated He would meet with His Disciples in Galilee (Mk. 16:15);
“And He said to them, Journey unto the entire world and proclaim the gospel [evangel] as an herald to every creature!” (Mk. 16:15 APT).
3. To Disciple others as explained above under B. (Mt. 28:19a);
“Therefore journey& and consecutively disciple [train by intimate process] people of all the [metonymy]nations!” (Mt. 28:19a APT).
4. To congregate disciples and plant churches as explained above under B. (Mt. 28:19b-20).
“. . . then baptize them into the name of The Father and of The Son and of The Holy Spirit! and repeatedly teach them in public to keep all things as many as I commanded you& watchfully secure! And lo! I Myself am continually with you& all the days until the consummation of the age. Amen!” (Mt. 28:19b-20 APT).
Conclusion: To fulfill the God-ordained tasks He designed for you requires that you reckon yourself crucified and risen with Christ and become His bondslave by offering your body as a living sacrifice and prepare for the exciting life of a disciple in bondservice that awaits you. The horizons of God’s love and wonderful experience of His hand upon you and leading you, are limited only by your selfish choices and fleshly or carnal desires whether bad or good. What path will you take for the rest of your life? What effort will you expend to be available for The God to be a fellow worker with The Lord Jesus Christ in completing building His Church in the twenty-first century?
| | understood $singular &plural +masc. ^fem. ~neut.
/ the [ ]basic meaning italics = comment in margin
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