A Disciple’s Foundation
(Isa 8:16) Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.
(Amo 3:7) Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
Old Covenant Definition for disciple:
1) taught, learned, discipled
1b) accustomed to (something)
(Act 1:15) And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)
(38) Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
(39) For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
(40) And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
(41) Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
(42) And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
(43) And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
(44) And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
(45) And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
(46) And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
(47) Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
(Act 6:1) And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
(Act 6:2) Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
(Act 6:7) And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
(Act 9:1) And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
(Act 11:26) And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
(Act 15:10) Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
New Covenant Definition for disciple:
a learner, pupil, disciple
Christian, a follower of Christ
True Christians/disciples have within them a laid foundation. That foundation was laid through the born again experience.
(1Co 3:11) For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
But is also says, that we are also built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets.
(19) Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
(20) And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
So therein is why we must abide in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship. Jesus Christ is the foundation laid in a disciple’s/Christian’s life. But we are also built up on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. They and their doctrine are part of the foundation.
(21) In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
(22) In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
We disciples of Christ are being built up together to be a temple and habitation of God. Zion is not a place, but a chosen people - chosen specifically for this purpose. We are the Zion of God. The growth of this spiritual house is contingent upon the squareness in which we rest upon the foundation.
What exactly does it mean that Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone, and along with the apostles and prophets together, they form the foundation of God’s Church?
(24) Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
If we are going to solidify ourselves squarely on the foundation, it is done so not by hearing the words of the Lord, but together by hearing and doing the words of the Lord.
(14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Being placed squarely on the cornerstone, we will not be children tricked by every new “revelation” or “sweet sounding” gimmick or the next fabulous “persuasive argument”. Because in knowing Him, when the storms of lies come to toss us to and fro, the wind will find itself quite ineffectual. It is imperative that we “KNOW HIM”. That starts by following all that Jesus had done and taught.
If we look carefully, though, all that was recorded of Him in the gospels are but broad spiritual kingdom principles. The gospels of what Jesus taught rarely provide specific applications for these principles in our lives. In order to find out, how to apply these principles we need two things:
Turn to the lives & writings of the apostles and prophets
Develop a discerning ear to the voice of His Spirit and be led by Him.
However, let me state that the focus of this teaching will be mainly on the apostles and prophets.
(11) He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
The mysteries of the kingdom of God were to be given to His disciples, His intimates the prophets, and His up and coming apostles. Before He ascended, Jesus spent 40 days with His disciples, prophets, apostles “speaking of things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).
(1) For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
(2) If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
(3) How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
(4) Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
(5) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
The mystery is not something that can’t be understood. Rather it is a secret that God will reveal only to those whom He chooses. When Jesus ministered in the days of His flesh for 3 ½ years, and during the 40 days right before His ascension, His purpose was to begin revealing these mysteries of old to His chosen, in order for them to reveal to the rest of the world. By teaching others what Jesus said and what He said to do, those sharing the “divine message” became participants in the foundation.
This is a short track record of the disciples work when Jesus ascended:
Their very first converts “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2:42)
They did not cease to teach and preach Jesus as the Messiah (Acts 5:42).
They did not hold back in declaring the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).
They sought for a door to be opened so that they could speak “the mystery of Christ” (Col 4:3) to anyone.
The manifestation of God’s word came through their preaching (Titus 1:3).
So what we find is that Christ and His gospel was a mystery. But when He came, He revealed both Himself and the gospel. He revealed this to the apostles and prophets, who in turn revealed them to the world.
(18) As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
(19) And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
(20) Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
On this night of the last supper Jesus certified the words of His apostles. He wanted the world to believe on Him through their words! Salvation and judgment is based on your responses to not only what He has said, but also your response to the words of His anointed ministers… and this is really not new thing for the Lord to do. He did it throughout the Old Covenant with His prophets (Jonah, Jeremiah, Daniel).
(11) Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
(2) That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
Your compliance to the words of the Lord through His anointed ministers is required because they were not speaking out of their own volition, but were speaking via His Spirit – “divine revelation”.
(6) We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
John is not arrogant when he says this. He knew who He had been made in Christ, and for the sake of his listener’s salvation He reminds them of the gravity of the words which he and the brotherhood of apostles are preaching to the world. This statement is also a signet to know who are God’s and who are not; to discern the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
Anybody preaching a different gospel then what the apostles preached, doesn’t know God. It doesn’t matter how “good” they look, how good they speak, or how nicely dressed they are… In this world there are “good” atheists. In this world there are “good” people. In this world there are “good” Christians… but how do we measure their place in Christ is quite clear…
(11) But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
(12) For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
We don’t need more book-filled and book learned ministers… we need more Spirit-filled and Spirit learned men… they are the ones that minister by the revelation of the Spirit of Christ.
(13) For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
The true ministers of God realize that it is the anointing within them that is ministering and speaking the words of God. If we can’t trust the apostles and prophets, then there is no one we can trust.
Did Jesus write the Bible Himself? No. He entrusted that work to holy men of God, “moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet 1:21). So clearly we see that the foundational doctrines of Christ are not found only in the “red letter” words of our KJV, but also in all the teachings of the apostles and prophets that He has sanctioned and ordained.
To further confirm this, Jesus says this:
(20) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
In solidifying our foundation squarely upon the cornerstone we must recognize this:
As the man Jesus Christ was sent into the world by God, so Jesus as the Head of the Church has sent others to minister His word to the world. If a person is going to receive God in his life, He must receive Jesus Christ, but in order for one to receive Jesus Christ, he must receive him whom Jesus has sent.
(12) For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
(13) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
(14) How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
(15) And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
(16) But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
(17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
I was speaking with the young men a week ago that some build their faith their church, on religious ceremonies, or even Bible teachings, but the only primary foundation of our spiritual lives is Christ and our relationship with Him.
When people join churches they join for all kinds of reasons – they like the building, it’s close to home, they like the choir, the music, the people are nice… but all that is really just carnal longings of the flesh. What should we be looking for?
Is there someone who has a revelation of Jesus Christ?
Is there someone who has been called and sent by God?
Is there someone here preaching the same gospel as Peter, Paul and the rest of the apostles in the scriptures?
Is there someone here who has received some broken bread from Jesus and can pass it along to me?
(19) And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
(36) And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
(26) And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
(30) And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
(31) And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
5. Is there someone here who can help set me squarely upon the real Cornerstone of this Jewish-Apostolic-Christian faith?
(16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
(17) For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Solidifying ourselves squarely on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, of which Jesus Christ is the Chief Cornerstone, will result in us not being ashamed of the gospel of the kingdom. It will cause us to not be ashamed because we realize it is the power of God for the salvation of all that will believe. We will not be afraid to repeat the conditions and requirements of the gospel of the kingdom, just as the apostles spoke them, because in this gospel is the righteousness of God revealed, by faith.
© copyright 2009 Jesus M. Ruiz