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 1992

Becoming a Disciple
Edited from a message by
John W Follette

We sometimes mistakenly regard terms to be synonymous when they are not. For example, a half dozen apples means the same as six apples; but there is a difference between a half a dozen apples and six oranges. These are not synonymous terms. Our spiritual nature and character are not synonymous terms.

Our "nature" (who we are) was given to us at the time of our salvation. We became a new creation through the new birth. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" II Cor 5:17.

Our "Character" (what we have become) is developed through our growth into maturity. The Lord will help us in building our character, but He cannot give "character" to us. We must grow into spiritual maturity. A child is potentially a full grown individual, though not presently seen as such. He develops into the fullness of the potential that was given him at birth.

Other terms which sometimes are considered to be the same are also different. These are "Christian" and "disciple." One must become a Christian before becoming a disciple. A newly saved Christian is not yet a disciple. These terms are not synonymous.

To become a Christian, the basic requirements of repentance and faith must be met. We acknowledge our sin, receive Jesus as our personal Saviour, and through a new birth become a child of God. Now we may receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, spiritual gifts, healings, and other graces. We can do nothing to earn these for they are on the gift level. But there is another level beyond this which will fashion us into being a disciple.

The realm in which the requirements for salvation rested had to do with sin, darkness, and the world. These were left behind once we we resaved. Whenever Jesus dealt with the multitudes, He taught them in parables which pertained to natural things which they understood. But when He was alone with His disciples, He unfolded to them the deeper spiritual meaning that was hidden within these things.

The requirements of discipleship are not as apparent as those which lead to salvation. Consider these words of Jesus: "If any man come to me and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple" Luke14:26.

Is it wrong then to have a father, mother, sister, or wife? On the contrary, here, the Lord is not dealing with a sin problem which rests in the realm of the world, sin, and the flesh. The requirements to be a disciple have moved up into another level and rest in legitimate pursuits. These are acceptable and right things, which we must learn to die to and put into the hands of the Lord in order to become His disciple.

The first level concerns the world and sin, which through faith we are to forsake as the source and center of our desires. After this, there is another level of commitment. Although we are instructed in the Word to honor our father and mother, now the Lord tells us that to become His disciple, we are to hate these. To understand this requires a deeper level of commitment.

The word "disciple" means "one who is taught." Therefore, the saved person is not a disciple until he has developed, or has grown into a level of capacity where he understands and responds to the deeper meaning that is hidden within the Word.

A disciple will recognize and come to Jesus as his Teacher. Jesus, as a teacher, is light over darkness. A disciple, as a taught one, receive sand embraces this revelation of truth - the incarnate God in flesh, the Christ, who is the embodiment of all truth. We can be saved and yet not enter into the flow of this beautiful light and revelation wherein Jesus Christ will become within us all that God intends.

As we become spiritually hungry, Jesus will begin to shine like a light into our heart. We respond, "I desire to know Him and become His disciple. I will pay the price for truth to come into my being." This is a dangerous thing to ask because truth is light. If we are in the shadows, truth will begin to make a pathway through those shadows to shine within our heart, exposing all that is not like Him.

The Lord will say, "Are you willing to lay down your life to become and do all that I ask of you?" You may respond, "Yes Lord, I am willing to surrender my life and lay down everything I have to become all that you require. Lord, I greatly desire this light to continue shining within my heart." Immediately, father, mother, sister, wife - these whom you dearly love will say, "The Lord would never require any such thing from you. You will break our hearts if you do this. We cannot give you up to this."

Now a shadow begins to form within this beautiful flow of light. Itssource is not the devil. Rather, it is legitimate, lawful, correct things that are casting this shadow. To be a disciple means hating theshadow; not our father and mother, etc. We must turn from all who seek to impose their wishes upon us.

Thus, a disciple is one who comes to hate "whatever" blurs the vision of light and truth that he has seen. The Lord is saying, whatever presents an interference with the light and truth which He desires to pour into us - even the intrusion of a father's ambition or a spouses love, must be surrendered, no matter how legitimate or good it may be. Only then can the light, the radiance of Christ, shine within, keeping the pathway bright and clear before us. If we give way to these intrusions, or hindrances, our discipleship will be shattered.

Jesus, to fulfill the will of His Father, had to go by way of Calvary. It was dark and terrifying, but He knew this was the will of His Father for Him. He said to His disciples, "I have come to bring you life, and that more abundantly, but this life can only be produced through death, and I am the instrument through which it is to be accomplished."

On another occasion Jesus clearly said, "I must go up to Jerusalem and die." His disciples reacted to these words. Peter turned to Him and said, "Be it far from Thee," to which Jesus responded, "Get thee hence Satan." Although Jesus loved Peter, He saw him as an instrument through which the enemy would project the idea of sparing His life under the symbol of love.

Jesus continued to love Peter. We are to love our father and mother. Yet we must hate the idea that they may be used as an instrument of Satan to disturb, or destroy the very thing the Lord intends to do. Ask yourself, "Do I have within me enough of the love and grace of God to hate that thing?" If so, you have the material for discipleship.

"And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple" Luke 14:27. Jesus was not here referring to Salvation, for this "potential" disciple is already saved. Rather, He is seeking to lift him up into another level where he will face legitimate, lawful things to which he must learn to die. As he dies to these, he will become disentangled from the lower level of life's demands so he can fully follow Jesus as His disciple.

Jesus' cross was a vicarious, atoning cross. We cannot bear the cross He bore. Many think that Jesus has laid a cross on them, but He never laid a cross on anyone. We all experience trials over which we have no control. These cannot be our cross. Jesus said that we are to take up our cross. This must be voluntary, for if we choose to do this, it will become the instrument of our death to self.

Jesus will interpret our cross to us. If we must know, our cross will do to us what His did to Him. It crucified Him. But, it also liberated Him. It released a tremendous stream of salvation and opened the way to the fountain of life into which we have entered.

"For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?" Luke14:28. When a man is building, he knows to count the materials and the cost. So it is with us, we cannot be His disciple unless we have first counted the cost and have determined that we will proceed.

"So likewise, whosoever he be of you that for saketh not
all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple" Luke 14:33.

Let us who are saved both understand and respond to all that He may require of us, therein becoming His disciple.