Pinecrest Bible Training Center

John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone.

Beginning in 2008 the vision and bible school that God so graciously gave Wade Taylor beginning in 1968 came to an abrupt end, falling into the ground and dying.-

We now wait for God to raise up and bring forth His seed of promise in another, that the vision fail not.

Spring 1989
Pressing towards the Mark
Wade E Taylor

"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" Phil 3:13-14.

In his personal testimony, Paul tells us that he is determinedly moving toward an attainable goal. Our knowing what this goal is will make our spiritual journey through life much more productive. This begins with our understanding the purpose of our predestination.

"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate TO BE CONFORMED to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren" Romans8:29. This speaks of an on-going process.

"And Jesus KEPT INCREASING in wisdom and stature" Luke 2:52a NAS. Upon the cross, He said, "It is finished." He fully accomplished our redemption, making a way for us to become a mature member of His Body. However, we begin this process of spiritual growth as a spiritual baby. "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby" I Peter 2:2.

Thus, Jesus became the fully developed head of an immature body. "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto THE MEASURE OF THE STATURE of the fullness of Christ" Ephesians 4:13. To manifest an adult head upon the body of a child would be unthinkable. Therefore, there is something that is far more important to us than our going to heaven. The goal of our Christian experience is to "keep increasing" until we come to full maturity.

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" Rom 8:28.

The "good" that is referred to in this verse speaks of our being made conformable to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. The word "good" comes from the same root as the word "God". It implies that we have become, in some measure, like God. Because we are "predestined" to be conformed to His image, the Lord causes these "all things" to work together in order to bring about this higher purpose of producing the image of Jesus within us. Actually, things do not work; rather, the Lord arranges them in ways that will help us to mature.

Salvation is a gift, but spiritual maturity is attained through a process of spiritual growth. This process begins at the time of our spiritual birth. It can be likened to the stages of our natural growth. "Until we all attain to unity in faith and to a perfect knowledge of the Son of God, namely, to a mature manhood and to a perfect measure of Christ's moral stature; so that we may not be babies any longer," Eph 4:13-14a Williams Trans.

If I were to say to a 4 year old, "You are a baby" this child would become very indignant. I would be informed by him that he is not a baby, but rather "big." The young ever wish to be instantly grown, but this requires a fixed, pre-arranged period of time. However, our rate of spiritual growth is governed by a different law. This time can be shortened through our cooperation with the Lord as He "works" together all things in ways that will enhance our spiritual growth. The first working of this law requires of us a drastic reduction. We must set aside all ideas of our own spirituality and become as a child, ready to learn.

"Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" Matt 18:3. Some "deeper life" or "sonship" teachers so emphasize the "realm" of spiritual maturity that being a child, spiritually speaking, is frowned upon. They reject or set aside many areas of experience that (they believe) indicate spiritual immaturity. Any expression or demonstration of "child like" joy is frowned upon by these as a sign of immaturity.

Some of these feel that evangelism is no longer necessary, or that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are no longer needed. Some even believe that they have gone beyond the "five-fold" ministry into a new "realm" of ministry as "mature sons." These seek to be "pronounced" an adult and instantly arrive "unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph4:13).

Like the 4 year old, they proclaim themselves to be what they are not. "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection;" Heb 6:1a. We cannot leave behind that which we do not possess. It is folly to regard ourselves as possessing more than what has been fully formed within us. Most certainly, spiritual maturity is important, but we must begin as a babe in Christ and then fully experience each stage of spiritual growth. The experiences of one level of growth will lead us into the next. We need not fear being left behind.

If a 4 year old could be pronounced an adult and instantly become one, this "instant-adult" would be very frustrated and unstable. As spiritual children, our times of seeming "immature" spiritual experiences (areas of emotional expression which some, who consider themselves mature, are very intolerant of)have a very important part in our developing into a mature, balanced adult.

Jesus said, "When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honorable man than thou be bidden of him; And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted" Luke 14:8-11.

To assume a position of "spiritual superiority" and proclaim that we are "beyond" basic spiritual experiences and principles is a very revealing sign of spiritual immaturity. A mature person is able to play with children and with their toys, enjoying both. The difference between them is that the mature person does this by choice and then goes on to greater things. As an adult, we can enjoy milk or steak, but the child is limited to milk.

It is not that we grow out of the "milk" stage and then press into the "dealings" (meat) of God. There is a marvelous balance wherein the Lord works concurrently in each of these levels within us. Thus, in one area of experience, we are seen by the Lord as a "babe" and coddled accordingly. At the same time, in another view, we may be seen as an adult wherein much more is expected of us.

As we progress though each of these different stages of spiritual growth, we are to fully experience all of the inner feelings, emotions, and relationships that apply to each particular area of our spiritual growth. This will enable us to become stable, balanced, mature adults.

If we are, in reality, spiritually mature we can afford to take a "lesser" seat in the coming "banquet" when the Lord will move in manifest visitation. That which we have "experientially" grown into will be evident to others and what we have become will make room for us.

Then, He will be able to invite us to come up higher and be seated with Him in the coming day of His power, for He alone is to be seen as pre-eminent in all, and we in Him.