"THE DISCIPLE IS NOT ABOVE HIS MASTER:
BUT EVERYONE THAT IS PERFECT SHALL BE AS HIS MASTER"
My spirit which had been humbled and almost crushed by the words of the first message was suddenly lifted up in a blaze of glory, as I realized that although I could never be above my Master, God had said I should be AS MY MASTER! (This I also found to be a quotation from scripture -- Luke 6:40.)
This is not a promise (as some have thought) which awaits the coming of Christ for its fulfillment. It is meant for the followers of Christ HERE AND NOW! This promise was spoken to me directly, for my own instruction and edification, but since it is a direct quotation of scripture, it does not apply to me alone, but to EVERY ONE WHO WILL BELIEVE IT! It is to YOU! You can heal the sick! You can see miracles! You can exercise the gifts of the Spirit! (I Cor. 12:8-11) YOU CAN DO THE WORKS HE DID! God has said that you could, and HE CANNOT LIE!
"God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Num. 23:19.
"My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips." Ps. 89:34.
Then, "Every one that is PERFECT" (that will meet the requirements, I COULD BE AS MY MASTER!
But some will say, "That is impossible, for He was God, as well as human. And we are only human."
These are unmindful of the plain statements of scripture, "Verily he took not on him the nature of angels: but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore IN ALL THINGS it behooved him to be made LIKE UNTO HIS BRETHREN." Heb. 2:16,17.
"But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the FORM OF A SERVANT, and was made in the LIKENESS OF MEN: And being found IN FASHION AS A MAN, he humbled himself." Phil. 2:7,8.
"The MAN Christ Jesus." I Tim. 2:5.
One night, when Jesus and his disciples were in a small boat, there came a great storm at sea, which caused the disciples to be very fearful for their lives. Jesus rebuked the winds and the sea, and immediately there was a great calm. The men who were with him in the boat marvelled, saying, "What manner of MAN is this?" Matt. 8:27.
Their question is still the cry of many today, when they observe some of His disciples, who by faith are claiming His promises, and going forth healing the sick, raising the dead, and ministering the word (as Jesus himself said they should -- Mark 16:17,18) with the supernatural confirmation of signs following. Many seem to think that these are some peculiar and different species, or manner, of men. They are not. They are simply common, ordinary men, full of the Holy Ghost, and yielded to God for his work -- men who have discovered that they can be AS THEIR MASTER, and have dedicated their lives to reaching that goal.
When the people at Lystra saw that Paul's command could bring healing to a man lame from his mother's womb, they said, "The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men." Being untaught heathen they of course did not know that men could have such power. But many Christian people seem to be just as unaware of the power which God has made available for his people. When these poor heathen people would have offered sacrifices unto Paul and Barnabas as Gods, they refused to permit this, saying. "We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn -- unto the living God." See Acts 14:8-15.
Jesus truly was God, as well as man. Yet it was not in His nature of deity that He walked upon earth and performed miracles. The often neglected question is not "What manner of God is this?" We as His disciples, need to ask as did those disciples of old, "What manner of MAN is this?"
Jesus, by His own statement, was a member of the eternal triune Godhead, composed of the Father (Jehovah), the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Ghost. He existed before the world was made, and shared in the work of creation. (John 1:1-3.) He was not only WITH God and LIKE God, HE WAS GOD! All the attributes of deity were His. With the Father, He was omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and eternal. All these are His today, as He is glorified on the right hand of God in heaven. At the close of His earthly ministry of healing the sick and working miracles, when He was ready to be offered as a sacrifice for our sins, he prayed, "I have glorified thee on the earth. I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self WITH THE GLORY WHICH I HAD WITH THEE BEFORE THE WORLD WAS." John 17:4,5.
The glory which was His before the world was!
The glory which is His today!
But the glory which was LAID ASIDE when he took on human flesh. Coming as a helpless babe, born of a woman, circumcized like any other Jewish boy, increasing in wisdom and stature during childhood and growth (Luke 2:52), weeping, hungering, thirsting, weary, sleeping and waking -- partaking in every weakness and limitation of human flesh and blood. (Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also HIMSELF LIKEWISE TOOK PART OF THE SAME. Heb. 2:14.) He was "IN ALL POINTS tempted like as we are, yet without sin." Heb. 4:15.
He was "in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without him was not anything made that was made." John 1:2,3. Yet for all this, Jesus USED NO POWER when He was here on earth in the flesh WHICH IS NOT AVAILABLE TODAY to every believer! Such a statement would be blasphemy HAD NOT JESUS HIMSELF made it plain, again and again, that this was His plan.
"Everyone that is perfect SHALL BE AS HIS MASTER." Luke 6:40.
"As thou hast send me into the world, EVEN SO have I also sent them into the world." John 17:18.
"The works that I do SHALL HE DO ALSO." John 14:12.
Although He was Omnipotent God, yet in His earthly life and ministry He declared "The son can do nothing of himself." "I can of mine own self do nothing." John 5:19,30. "The words that I speak unto you I speak NOT OF MYSELF: But the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." John 14:10.
The answer to the disciples' question, "What manner of MAN is this?" is found not in the powers of deity which He used before He "was made flesh and dwelt amont us," nor in the power which is His today in the heavenlies today. The answer can be found only in His earthly (human) life. He lived that life AS AN EXAMPLE to those whom He left in the world to finish the work which he had started while He was here. "Leaving us an EXAMPLE, that YE should follow his steps." I Pet. 2:21. He was our teacher (master) and we, His disciples (every one that is perfect), SHALL BE AS our master! Had He used power which was not available to us, it would be impossible for us to follow His example. But He left to us the promise that we would receive THE SAME POWER and from the SAME SOURCE, that was His!
"Behold I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with POWER FROM ON HIGH." Luke 24:49.
"Ye shall receive POWER after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you." Acts 1:8.
These signs shall follow them that believe: IN MY NAME they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues -- they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover." Mark 16:17, 18.
"Behold, I give unto you POWER -- over all the power of the enemy." Luke 10:19.
"He that believeth on me, THE WORKS THAT I DO SHALL HE DO ALSO." John 14:12.
"Though he was rich (in heavenly glory and divine power) yet for your sakes he became poor, THAT YE THROUGH HIS POVERTY MIGHT BE RICH." II Cor. 8:9 He folded it all away as a garment, and laid aside His great wealth of power, and came into the world as a babe, in the form of a servant, of no reputation, lived among men as one of them. (Phil. 2:7.) Tradition has invented miracles in his childhood, but the Word of God plainly declares that "This BEGINNING of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee," (where He turned water into wine). John 2:11. He DID NO MIRACLE nor manifested any superhuman power, BEFORE THE HOLY SPIRIT DESCENDED UPON HIM! (Matt. 3:16,17; John 1:33.) It was when "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the HOLY GHOST AND WITH POWER" that he "went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; FOR GOD WAS WITH HIM." Acts 10:38. This is the secret of His success AS A MAN.
What manner of man?
A man ANOINTED WITH THE HOLY GHOST AND WITH POWER. And God was WITH HIM!
Yet -- don't forget this -- a man who was EVERY INCH A MAN! A man who faced -- and conquered -- EVERY TEMPTATION known to humanity! A man who (though as God, He had been omnipresent) could only be in one place at a time. Although as God He had neither slumbered nor slept (Ps. 121:4), as man, He suffered weariness (John 4:6) and required sleep (Matt. 8:24). He must go from place to place upon hot, weary, dusty feet -- His rate of travel limited to the speed of walking, His feet which had trod the immaculate golden streets of heaven soiled and bruised by the dust and stones of the unpaved and filthy Oriental streets and paths of Palestine. How He welcomed the cleansing coolness of the customary foot bath before meals -- when some unselfish person thought to minister to Him in this way! He suffered hunger and thirst, loneliness, weariness, and pain. He of whom it had been said, "Every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. The world is mine and the fullness thereof" (Ps. 50:10,12), claimed no part of it for Himself AS A MAN, but became even more poor than the foxes and birds, for He had not so much as a place to lay His head. (Luke 9:58).
All this He did WILLINGLY for us, that we might share the riches of His glory.
When satan tempted Him in the wilderness (Matt. 4:3,4), the first temptation was that He should act in the creative power of the ETERNAL SON OF GOD, in order that His human hunger might be satisfied. Had He done this, He would have failed in being "in all points like unto his brethren." It was important to the plan of satan that this point should, if possible, be spoiled. But Jesus did not fall into this temptation. In His reply is no assumption of deity. He answered firmly AS A MAN! "MAN shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
He loved to refer to Himself as the "SON OF MAN."
Since it is so apparent by the scripture that Jesus took upon Himself our own nature and limitations, in order that He might be made a proper example for us, it behooves us to study that example carefully, considering the question, "What manner of persons OUGHT YE TO BE in all holy conversation and godliness." II Pet. 3:11.
He was a man of power. He spoke as one having authority (Mark 1:22). The people were astonished at this, for the religious leaders of their day knew nothing of this power, but taught traditions and theories and theological explanations. Jesus cut across all the lines drawn by their fine points of doctrine, and DROVE OUT BY HIS WORDS OF AUTHORITY demons, sickness and infirmity. When he spoke THINGS HAPPENED! He spoke as one having authority BECAUSE HE HAD AUTHORITY! The traditional religious leaders did not speak as He spoke because they had never been given authority over the power of the enemy. How many "religious" leaders today speak as the scribes and Pharasees! Those who are LIKE their master speak with authority -- the authority which was Christ's while He was here to use it, because He had received it from the Father (John 5:27). He came in the Father's name (John 5:43), and His legal AGENT, to work the works of His Father. ("I must work the works of him that sent me." John 9:4.) While He was on earth He chose disciples (first twelve, Luke 9:1, then seventy others, Luke 10:1,19) which He appointed as "deputies," giving them the same power of attorney which He used. ("Lord, even the devils are subject unto us THROUGH THY NAME." Luke 10:17.) Thus were they trained under His direct supervision to be ready to carry forward "all that Jesus BEGAN both to do and to teach" (Acts 1:1), when the time should come for Him to return to the Father.
Having now returned to the Father, and being on the right hand of God exalted, He has not planned that the work which He began through such suffering and sacrifice should cease to be carried forward. Before He went away, He left command and authority for the continuation of His work. Those who believe on Him are made His agents, and are commanded to do IN HIS NAME (by His authority, as by the power of attorney) all the things which He Himself would do if He were present in the body! "IN MY NAME shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents (not as tempting God, but should it so happen by accident, as it did to Paul, Acts 28:3-5) and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." Mark 16:17,18. "And whatsoever ye shall ask IN MY NAME, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." John 14:13.
The gifts which He placed in the church, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying (upbuilding) of the body of Christ (His church), Eph. 4:8-12, cover all the great and mighty things which Jesus did when He was here in the flesh (see I Cor. 12:7-11).
Never once did He teach, either by inference or by direct statement, that this power would be gone from the world when He went away. Rather, in his last commission to those He left behind, He declared, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. GO YE THEREFORE (because this power is HIS, and through Him OURS, Luke 24:49, Acts 1:8) and teach ALL NATIONS -- teaching them to OBSERVE (obey -- Webster's definition) ALL THINGS (Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils, freely ye have received, freely give. Matt. 10:8.) whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." Matt. 28:18-20.
These disciples, anointed with the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:4), "went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord was working WITH THEM, and confirming the word with SIGNS FOLLOWING." Mark 16:20.
So long as men are anointed with the Holy Ghost, and God is with them, as it was with Jesus (Acts 10:38) and the early disciples (Mark 16:20) and as Jesus said it should be "even unto the end of the world" (Matt. 28:20), the works Jesus did will continue to be done!
The disciple should not be above his master, but he SHALL BE AS HIS MASTER!
But if we are to be like Him in POWER, we must also be like Him in holiness, in consecration, in meekness, in compassion. We must be like Him in prayer and in fellowship with the Father. We must be like Him in faith. We must be like Him in fasting and self denial. If it were possible for the servant to be like Him in power without paying the price He paid, then the servant would be above his Lord.
There is a price to be paid for all that God offers to mankind. In a sense, it is all free, but there is a price of obedience and preparedness. Even our free salvation is ours only when we have heeded the admonition of God to repent and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ. The "gift of the Holy Ghost" is ours only when we obey Him. Acts 5:32. Power with God LIKE JESUS HAD is for those -- ALL THOSE -- who meet the condition, "every one that is PERFECT shall be as his master." Luke 6:40.
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