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Synopsis of A Cord of Three Strands
Good and joyful day today to all Christian brothers and sisters on this the day the Lord has made. Pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee, or tea, or milk, or whatever is your favorite, we’re about to slice a piece of the Bread of Life, the Word of God. And today’s slice comes from:
Matthew 13:52 Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of Heaven is like a head of a household, who brings forth out of his treasure things new and old.
Several weeks ago I began a series of messages on The Seven Mountains of Culture. Remember that the seven mountains of culture are referred to in Revelations 5:6 Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.”
These seven attributes of majesty that He is worthy to receive each coincide with the seven man pillars of every nation’s culture or society. Power speaks of Government. Riches speaks of Economy, Wisdom speaks of Education. Strength speaks of Family. Glory speaks of Celebration or Arts and Entertainment. Blessing speaks of Media. And, honor speaks of Religion.
In fact the first message of recent was titled “The Seven Mountains of Culture.” The second was “God Has Had Enough”, and the third, “Stepping into the New” Then I interrupted the series so that I could speak of Mother’s Day and High School Graduation Time. So…. now…. back to the series. This message’s title is “A Cord of Three Strands,” which is intended to speak of the Mountain of Religion, that is, today’s church; that’s us.
The purpose of Touch of Joy Ministries is to distribute through radio broadcast, teaching classes, and this website, important messages for our times. In each message we try to give a spiritual meal, but also a broadening and deepening perspective of the Three Strands of the Cord….. Scripture, History, and Prophecy.
A suggestion, if you’ve not already tried it. Get a strand of twine about two feet or so in length. Wrap each end around each of your hands. Pull the ends apart and see that it is possible to break it. Now….. twist three such pieces of twine and do the same. Ah-ha…. You probably could not break it. Or, if you did you certainly realized the three strands of the same material were considerably stronger when working together.
I’m finding that the three strands of Scripture and History and Prophecy can be joined likewise and cannot be easily broken. What did the slice of bread for today say about becoming a disciple who can bring out his treasure things new and old.
The time has come when each new generation does not have to make the same mistakes as the past ones. Scribes are a key to this. Scribes were not only the ones who wrote the decrees for the governing authorities, but they documented history. The proverb has been proven that “those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.” This can stop now, but we must have the wisdom to understand the importance of knowing history. The result will be a better understanding of our own times and being better prepared for the future.
The Three Strands of the Cord….. Scripture – History – Prophecy, can be seen intertwined throughout the Scriptures and especially in the writings of the prophets. The writers of Scripture often refer to earlier Scripture and then to history as a basis for their prophecies. These three are also found in the lives and writings of the great saints of history and in the high-impact saints of our own times.
As Jesus said in the Scripture quoted above, the scribes that are disciples of the kingdom of heaven will bring forth from their treasures things both new and old. There is not only a place for both in discipleship, but there is a requirement for both.
True discipleship will lead to being like Christ and doing the works that He did. It will also lead to persecution just as He was persecuted. Perhaps you will be sneered at or worse. Even so, to do the works of Christ is the greatest experience we can have. To love as He loved us and to demonstrate this love with our lives is our highest calling. This is the goal of our discipleship—for the Master to continue living His life through His followers, doing the same works. But this means training up the disciples, as He did. ( oh, that’s Scripture strand )
A large discipleship movement during the ‘70s and ‘80s ( oh, there’s History strand ) sought to recover true biblical discipleship. It went awry leaving a trail of wounded, disoriented people. This kind of thing often happens when the Lord is about to release or restore something significant. There is almost always a “Saul” before a “David,” or we might say man’s attempt to bring about the purposes of God before we allow God to bring forth His own in His own time. We’re like children chanting, “I’d rather do it myself.” So, we set the date for the Holy Spirit to come to our revival. Back to scripture.
Saul was anointed by God. He fought many battles against the enemies of the Lord. Even so, he was the result of God’s people wanting to be like the nations around them and have their own earthly president, ( oh, excuse me,I meant king). God had promised them a king in Genesis 49 and that he would come out of Judah. One of the reasons Samuel was called as a prophet ( oh there is the Prophecy strand ) One of the reasons Samuel was called as a prophet was “to give strength to the Lord’s king,” so it was apparent that it was close to the time for their king to come. Even so, the people could not wait for God’s choice to mature and demanded a king right away. God gave them the best that was available at that time and anointed him so he would be the best he could be, but God also warned that he would result in many unnecessary problems. After Saul, the people of Israel did not want another king for a long time, even though David, God’s choice, was recognized in his own tribe of Judah.
Back to History strand. After the discipleship movement of the 1970s, even the word “discipleship” could hardly be used by Christians because of the pain and confusion it caused for so many. Even so, it does not negate that discipleship is the basic mandate of The Great Commission and is the only biblical way that we have been given to mature Christianity. It must be recovered.
The goal of biblical discipleship is to lead people to Jesus, not to ourselves. For too long the church has been promised the Lord, but all they ever get is us! Those who are making true disciples are making them into disciples of Christ Jesus Himself, connecting them to Him. If their job is done right, they themselves will become unnecessary because the disciples have their own relationship to Him. We may stay connected with those who have so matured but only as brethren and co-laborers for the sake of His gospel. The ultimate goal of those who are making true disciples is to work themselves out of a job—to lead those they are teaching to a place where they no longer need them because they are growing up in all things into Him. While the Pastor has a congregation of hundreds, those that he trained to be disciples may have a congregation of more.
John the Baptist was the greatest of all transitional ministries. Jesus called him “the greatest man ever born of woman” (see Matthew 11:11) and he reflects the path to the greatest achievement we can have on this earth— to prepare the way for the Lord, to point to Him, and to be willing to decrease as He increases in the lives of those we have pointed to Him. Our goal for every disciple is for them to grow to the place where they no longer need us because they have their own relationship with Him. Pastors, are you listening. When you are ready to retire from your pastorate why not have your replacement trained to step into your shoes. I’ve seen it done, right here in Lucedale.
My friends, we are in the times of the beginning of the new era for Christianity. This year still has a chance to be a great year. My prayer for you is that it will be your best year yet—that this year you will get much closer to the Lord than you have ever been. That would make this the most successful year we have ever had. Let’s have a holy competition to see who will be the best student in His teachings, and do it in a way that infects everyone we come in contact with so that they have the same desire. Be a virus for Christ.
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