"THE DISCIPLE IS NOT ABOVE HIS MASTER,
NOR THE SERVANT ABOVE HIS LORD"
What strange words! Why should God speak thus to me?
Somehow, I knew that I had read those words somewhere, but where? (I later discovered that this was quoted from the Bible -- Matt. 10:24.) But this was the voice of God, speaking directly to ME. This was the same voice which had spoken to Phillip (Acts 8:30), saying, "Go near, and join thyself to this chariot." It was the voice which Peter had heard (Acts 10:15), saying, "What God hath cleansed that call not thou common." The voice which God's Word tells us may still be heard today. "As the Holy Ghost saith, today if ye will hear his voice harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness." Heb. 3:7,8. Now I was hearing the voice of God. All others who might share in the message of these words were for the moment blotted out of my thinking. I had asked God for a solution to my problem, and God was giving the answer.
First of all, I must know that NEVER could there be any possibility of being above my Master, Jesus.
You say, "What is so strange about that? Surely no one would expect to be above HIM!
But wait! You may find that you too, just as I had, have been seeking and expecting that very thing. I had read His promise, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." John 14:12. Although it seemed hardly reasonable that anyone could really do a greater miracle than those done by Jesus, yet this seemed to be what the scripture said. Many times I had wondered about the meaning of this scripture. The thought that the disciple could do a greater miracle than his Lord seemed to be a direct contradiction of the spirit of the scripture. Now I could see that this promise, like all God's promises, is true when rightly understood. "Greater works shall he do," in the sense that Jesus was only one, limited by time and transportation difficulties to a small area and a few people. Those who believe on Him are many. They are scattered over the face of the entire earth. Many of His modern disciples have circled the globe, preaching to thousands at one time by means of electrical amplification systems, and to vast unseen audiences through radio and television, bringing deliverance to greater multitudes than did Jesus. Where Jesus reached hundreds, His followers are reaching thousands. The works of power which are done today are THE SAME WORKS which He did -- greater in quantity, but not in quality. EVERY BELIEVER has promised to him the same power which Jesus used -- miracles after the same pattern which they saw their Master do, first in the flesh and later through the written record found in the four gospels. What mighty things would have been accomplished had all the followers of Jesus made use of this power!
The words quoted at the beginning of this chapter were part of the message of Christ to twelve believers who were sent out to do the very things which I knew God had called me to do -- "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give." Matt. 10:8. With these wonderful promises of power were included warnings of persecution -- "Ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake." Verse 18. "Brother shall deliver up brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death." Verse 21. No deliverance from this persecution was promised to the followers of Christ, although they were to have power to do the things which He did. CHRIST HIMSELF WAS PERSECUTED. If His disciples could do the works He did, and in addition be delivered from persecution, then indeed would the disciple be above his master.
"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." II Tim. 3:12.
Persecution is one of the universal results of manifested power.
Jesus was not persecuted while He remained in the carpenter shop at Nazareth, but the moment He started to do mighty things, He was called "Prince of devils," and attempts began to be made to destroy his life. (See Luke 4:29.) Persecutions continued for three and one-half years, until at last He was crucified, for no other reason than because He had power which the powerless religious leaders of his day feared. Peter was a "good fellow" so long as he was a mere fisherman, but when he healed the lame man, they threw him in jail. Acts 3:7; 4:3. So long as Stephen was just a "member" in the First Church at Jerusalem he got along nicely, but the moment he "did great wonders and miracles among the people" (Acts 6:8), he was called into judgment and stoned. Paul never had to flee at night for his life, because of his religion, until after he had met God in a supernatural way.
Even so, you will not meet with much opposition and persecution so long as you are just, as the world would say, a "normal Christian," but when you begin to accept God's promises for your life, and to do the UNUSUAL, persecution will come!
Personally, I met with very little opposition until I made up my mind to have all God had promised me as a minister.
This opposition may appear to come from people, but it is really directed by satan, the commanding general of the opposing army, and using all the methods of warfare from direct frontal attack to "fifth column activities" among our own people.
Again and again, Jesus pointed out to His disciples the price of following in His steps, recommending that they count the cost, and offering them the opportunity of turning back if the price seemed too great, in proportion to the value of the blessing to be received. Our master "for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Heb. 12:2.
If we suffer we shall also reign with him." II Tim. 2:12. To the disciple who seeks to share in His power and glory, it must FIRST OF ALL be pointed out that he, being not greater than his master, must follow the same path of suffering, faithfulness and consecration which his Master followed, if he is to reach the goal, if he would know the abundant life -- the powerful life -- in this world, and share in heaven's glory.
If the Son of God must suffer rejection, persecution, cruel scourgings, and crucifixion, at the hands of those to whom He came to minister, His disciple is not above suffering in order that he may carry the gospel of deliverance to those in bondage.
If Christ Himself must reject all earthly ambitions -- even refusing the opportunity to rule the world, when that opportunity was presented aside from the principals of godliness (see Matt. 4:8-10) -- then surely His disciple, if he is to know real power, must have an eye single to the purpose of God, rejecting all offers but His, no matter how attractive they may be. His cry must be, like his Master, "Lo I come to do thy will, O God." Heb. 10:7. Like Paul, he must be able to say, "I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ." Phil 3:8.
If the Son of God must spend long hours of the night, when the rest of the world was sleeping, alone on the mountain top with His Father, in order that He might be able to cast out even those demons of whom He said, "This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting" (Matt. 17:21), surely His disciple also must spend hours in fasting and prayer, waiting upon God -- learning to think and act in unison with God -- before he can expect to cast out such demons.
"Men ought always to pray and not to faint," Luke 18:1. Persistent, habitual prayer was one of the outstanding characteristics of the life of Christ. When Judas desired to find Jesus in order to betray Him to the priests, he knew that he would find Him in the garden of prayer. Prayer to our Lord was more important than teaching and healing, for He refused to allow Himself to be swept off His feet by the multitudes who "came together to hear, and to be healed by Him" (Luke 5:15,16), but withdrew Himself from the crowd which demanded His attention into the wilderness, and prayed. Prayer was more important to Him than the working of miracles, for miracles do not generate themselves. Prayer is the cause -- miracles the result. Prayer to Jesus was more important than rest and sleep, for we find that "in the morning rising up a great while before day, he went out and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed." Mark 1:35. And again, "He went out into a mountain to pray and he continued all night in prayer to God." Luke 6:12.
If the disciple could attain the same results which Jesus did WITHOUT PAYING THE SAME PRICE WHICH JESUS PAID, then it would have to be confessed that the disciple had become greater than his master. The "student" would have learned a better, more efficient method than that taught to him by his "teacher." In the world, this often happens. Many a musician has advanced beyond the one who gave him his training. Many an artist has far excelled the one who taught him to draw and paint. And many a scientist has learned for himself things which his science teachers never knew. But the student of Jesus Christ CANNOT become greater than his teacher. He cannot learn anything which Jesus did not know. He cannot find a short cut to power with God. If he should try it, he will only meet with disappointment and sorrow. His life will be shipwrecked and his ministry useless.
For the disciple (student) of Christ, "It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master (teacher)." Matt. 10:25.
Before I could fully comprehend all which God has spoken to me, suddenly He was speaking to me again, the words which form the second step of the revelation which God gave to me as I waited before Him in fasting and prayer.
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