These studies have been given for many years on the mission fields all over the world. The method employed is that of interrogative analysis which brings the truth within easier reach of many educationally disadvantaged ministers and facilitates interpretation, especially since good interpreters are often hard to get. Academic sophistication was intentionally avoided in favor of simplicity. The truth in these notes is regarded as seed for the soil of the heart to produce a corresponding harvest in accordance with the law of growth, Mark 4:26—29. The truth contained in these studies is basic and vital to the ministry, though anyone can get enormous benefit by making these notes the subject of private study. The questions direct attention to the related Scriptures to be read and studied with the help drawn from the answers given. In the process other truth will be discovered, or be revealed, but the point is to see the truth given actually contained in the Scripture. While some do not like this method, others love it; and many sermons, gleaned from the harvest of truth found in these notes, have been preached to world-wide audiences from numerous pulpits and by way of radio. APOSTOLIC PRINCIPLES I. CHOSEN BY HIM, JOHN 15:16 A. INTERROGATIVE ANALYSIS 1. Give the literal meaning of the term “apostle”: “One sent forth” or “a sent forth one” as in Luke 10:1. 2. What is meant by “apostolic principles?” Those methods and means which the Lord employed in preparation of His twelve disciples. 3. Wherein are those principles relevant today? In that the Lord employs them today in the preparation of chosen instruments for a Christ-centered ministry. 4. Note four kinds of apostles as seen in: (1) II Sam. 18:19 -32 — Self-sent apostles go without being called by God and without a message from God. (2) Acts 1:15—26 Man-sent apostles who are put into the ministry by men. (3) II Cor. 11:13-15 — False apostles who are messengers of Satan who are sent by Satan in the interests of his kingdom. (4) Rom. 1:1 — God-called apostles who are called by God for the fulfillment of the great commission. 5. What is meant by “choice” in respect to the call of God? A deliberate act in the mind of God whereby He determines to call an individual for the work of the ministry. 6. This choice of God involves what in the light of Jer. 1:5? (1) Divine foreknowledge — God makes His choice in full cognizance of the individual’s type of personality with all its idiosyncrasies, assets and liabilities. (2) Determination — Notwithstanding the risks involved in choosing a necessarily faulty instrument, God determines the choice of the individual. (3) Separation — In making His choice, God in effect passes others by and sets the individual apart. (4) Communication — Then God communicates His choice to the chosen individual by any of a variety of means. 7. In choosing the apostles, what did the Lord do in: (1) Luke 6:12—13? He preceded His choice by a night of prayer, indicative of its importance and His dependence upon the Father. (2) Luke 6:12—13? — He made the choice in harmony with the Father’s will. (3) Luke 6:16? In so doing He chose the cross by choosing a traitor that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. 8. Comment on John 15:19—20: Being chosen by Him involves being rejected by the world and the bearing of a personal cross. 9. What is our personal cross? Whatever suffering befalls us or whatever sacrifice is incumbent upon us in consequence of our response to the known will of God for our lives. Therefore, everyone has a different cross. II CALLED BY HIM, MARK 3:13 A. INTERROGATIVE ANALYSIS 1. What is meant by being “called”? The communication by God to an individual imparting the information of his call to the ministry. 2. How was this communication made in: (1) Acts 9:1-6? By an audible voice. (2) Acts 13:1—2? By a prophetic utterance (probably). (3) Acts 16:9? By a vision. 3. Comment on Acts 16:10: (1) The meaning of the vision was confirmed by an inner witness of the Spirit — “assuredly gathering.” (2) God uses a variety of ways in calling a person, not the least of them being an inner awareness or an intuitive knowledge, a deep assurance with or without any other complementary means. 4. Under what diversity of circumstances did God call men in: (1) Ex. 3:1 — 12? While being a fugitive from justice. (2) I Kings 19:19-21? While plowing a field. (3) Amos 7:14—15? While following the flock. (4) Mark 1:16—20? While fishing and mending nets. (5) Mark 2:13-14? While serving the Roman empire as a tax collector. (6) Acts 9:1—9? While travelling to Damascus for the purpose of persecuting God’s people. 5. Comment on Acts 9:1—9: While Saul was on his way to arrest God’s people, the Lord came and arrested Saul. 6. In the light of the following Scriptures, the call of God is what? (1) Mark 3:13 — Sovereign. (“He calleth unto Him whom He would ”) (2) John 13:18 — Deliberate. (“I know whom 1 have chosen.”) (3) Acts 13:2 — Selective. (“Separate me.”) (4) Acts 13:2 — Personal. (“Barnabas and Saul.”) (5) Acts 13:2 — Objective. (“For the work whereunto 1 have called them.”) III. ORDAINED BY HIM, MARK 3:14 A. INTERROGATIVE ANALYSIS 1. What is meant by “ordained”? To invest officially, or by divine decree, with authority to fulfill a divine appointment to a ministerial office or perform a designed task. 2.Note examples of such appointment from: (1) 1 Cor. 12:12—27 — Every member of the body of Christ has his God-appointed place in the body with its God-appointed function for its God-appointed purpose. (2) I Cor. 12:18 — In so doing God acted solely in accordance with His own pleasing. (3) I Cor. 12:23 — No one member can regard the function of any other member as unnecessary. (4) Eph. 4:16 — The body is built up by that which every joint supplies; i.e.. by the contribution of each member. I Cor. 12:26. (5) 1 Cor. 12:24—25, Acts 6:1—4 — God brings into play the function of each member in accordance with a priority based not on the intrinsic merit of the function but on the then current need. (6) Jer. 1:5-7 — God ordained Jeremiah to his prophetic office in accordance with His foreknowledge, notwithstanding the seeming incongruity between Jeremiah’s introvert personality and the extrovert demands of his ministry. (7) Acts 14:23 — Paul ordained qualified men to the office of an elder for the work of ruling and teaching in the local church. PARENTHETICAL NOTE There are two kinds of elders, those who rule and those who teach, I Tim. 5:17. (The door is left open for the concept that an elder might do either one or both). Inasmuch as they are counted worthy of double honor, their office as a divine institution is expected to be acknowledged. It corresponds to “govern ments” in I Cor. 12:28 which is a nautical term meaning “to steer,” “to pilot” as a ship by a navigator. (8) Gal. 1:1 — Paul was ordained to the office of an apostle by Jesus Christ to take the “bishoprick” of Judas, Acts 1:20. 3. Where does that leave Matthias with his election in Acts 1:15—26? Out in the cold. Peter was not authorized to call for an election which was hereby invalid. Matthias received the title, Acts 1:26, and at least initial recognitions, 1 Cor. 15:5—8, even by Paul, I Cor. 15:5 who, at the time to which he referred to “the twelve,” did not know of his pending apostolic appointment. Matthias moves out of the picture as Paul comes onto the scene as the greatest of all apostles, though the least in his own eyes, I Cor. 15:9. 4. Comment on: (1) 1 Cor. 15:8 — Paul most likely refers to his late appointment when he refers to himself as “one born out of due time.” (2) II Cor. 12:1 —13 — Paul feels compelled to defend his apostleship. (3) Gal. 1:1 — Paul makes a point of affirming: a. That he was not a “sent forth one” of man as his appointee. b. That he was not a “sent forth one” by man as his representative. c. But he was the appointee and representative of Jesus Christ and God the Father to act on their behalf with power of attorney. (4) Rev. 21:14- a. Each of the twelve foundations of the New Jerusalem carries a name of the apostles. b. If the name of Matthias is there, that of the apostle Paul is missing. c. To think of Paul’s name missing, the apostle to the Gentiles as Peter was to the Jews (Gal. 2:8), with all his epistles and no record of Matthias’ work at all, is utterly inconceivable, and leads to the inevitable conclusion that Peter with his characteristic impetuousness called for an election by majority vote for an office that was later filled by Jesus Christ as a divine appointment. 5. To what purpose were the apostles ordained in: (1) John 15:16? That they should bear lasting fruit and receive a full reward, II John 8. (2) Mark 3:15? That they might have power to heal sicknesses and cast out devils (Luke 10:17). (3) Mark 4:11? To know (he mysteries of the Kingdom of God (I Cor. 2:12-14). (4) Mark 3:14a? That they should be with Him, separated from their normal associations and pursuits and dedicated to their personal association with Him in fellowship and submission to His Lordship. (5) Mark 3:14b? That they might be sent forth to preach the Kingdom of God, Acts 8:12. 6. Comment on the statement “and they came unto Him,” Mark 3:13: (1) Before we go we must come — “Come now therefore, and I will send thee,” Ex. 3:10. (2) Fellowship takes precedence over service. The effectiveness of our preaching flows from our relationship to Him. Hence association comes before representation. (3) Those who want to keep going in effectiveness must keep coming in devotedness; good speakers for God must be good hearers from God, therefore they must learn to be alone and stand still, I Sam. 9:27. (4) Ps. 8:3 — As God appointed the stars to function, so He ordained ministers of the Word, Rev. 14:6, to bring the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, II Cor. 4:4. 7. What does Ex. 32:1 show in the light of Ex. 24:12—16? The failure of many of God’s people to understand the need of God’s messengers to spend time alone with God, Mark 1:35—37. IV. TAUGHT BY HIM, MARK 4:34 A. INTERROGATIVE ANALYSIS 1. What do the following Scriptures show? (1) John 6:45 — That in the final analysis all of God’s children are in some way taught by God, including the intuitive recognition of the drawing of the Spirit of God. Such a drawing, whether to God, to pray, to seek, an inner desire (even when undefined), is always the drawing of God, for: a. Man in the natural has no desire for God. b. Satan would not give man such a desire even if he could. c. That leaves God Himself as the only one to take such initiative. A hunger for God is actually God Himself hungering for Himself within us. Any adequate response will bring a response from God when we take the initiative, James 4:8. (2) Mark 4:36 — The need of getting away from the crowd in order to be taught by Him. (3) Luke 24:27 – Jesus endorsed the authenticity of the O. T. Scriptures by their unequivocal use in opening the Scriptures, Luke 24:32. (4) I John 2:27 — The anointing of the Holy Spirit enables us instinctively to differentiate between truth and error. 2. Note some key points in Ex. 24:13— 16: (1) God took the initiative in calling Moses up into the mount away from a busy schedule and a demanding crowd. (2) God took Moses through a long waiting period before He spoke His first word. (3) Physical considerations were subordinated to the higher laws of the Spirit. This is tribulation to the body which works patience. To hurry God is to find fault with Him. 3. Comment on Isa. 30:18: (1) God waits for us to wait for Him and guarantees His response. (2) The waiting period of God’s workshop during which He employs a diversity of means to do within us a work of grace takes time. Look at the patience of Job. 4. What do the following passages show? (1) Mark 4:1-20 — Some of the disciples’ teaching was given while they were part of a crowd. Others received the same teaching at the same time. (2) Mark 4:34 — Some of their teaching was received while they were separated from others for additional elucidation reserved for them and concealed from the others. PARENTHETICAL NOTE: In the light of Matt. 11:25—26 the Lord deliberately withholds truth from some because they are “wise” and “prudent”; i.e., proud of heart and conceited of mind, while He gives the same things to the “babes”; i.e., the open, honest, the humble. (3) Mark 9:1-10 – Teaching was given in the still small group, especially by experience and in the presence of a three-fold symbolic presentation of the Word of God, namely: a. By Moses representing the written word. b. By Elijah representing the spoken word. c. By Jesus representing the Living Word. (4) John 21:15—23 — Privately. Where alone in a group, John 21:19—25, or completely isolated from the others as in Gal. 1:17,with training especially relevant to the individual’s ministry, Gal. 2:8. 5. What is observed in: (1) John 16:12? That the extent of truth we receive is to a degree contingent on our capacity and spiritual development,! Cor. 3:1—3, Matt. 6:33. (2) Luke 24:27? That Jesus used and thereby endorsed “all the Scriptures” of the O. T. as the authentic Word of God. 6. Concerning the ministry of Jesus, what do we learn from: (1) John 14:10,24? That the words that He spoke originated not from Himself, but from His Father. (2) John 8:28? That Jesus Himself needed to be taught by the Father, John 5:19,30. (3) Isa. 50:4? That the Father’s teaching enabled Jesus not only to speak with a knowledge on par with the theologians of His day, but even with superiority, John 7:46; Luke 2:47;4:16—22. 7. Specifically what do we learn from Isa. 50:4 concerning Christ’s ministry? (1) That the Father taught Jesus: a. How to speak — “How to speak” b. What to speak — “A word” c. When to speak — “In season” d. To whom to speak — “To him that is weary” (2) That the Father awakened Jesus “morning by morning” to give Him “what I should say” (to individuals) and “what I should speak” (to audiences), John 12:49—50; Isa. 50:4. PARENTHETICAL NOTE: Those who have had the actual experience of being awakened by the Lord early “morning by morning” will understand its secret, and concur with this position. 8. What helpful light do the following passages shed on a God-given ministry in the Word? (1) I Sam. 9:27 — The need of getting away from others and the standing still in our pursuit long enough to hear from God. (2) Matt. 6:6 – That spending time alone with God unobserved, undistracted and undisturbed brings its public reward in an impressive ministry that leaves its mark, John 7:46. (3) Isa. 64:4 — That one who waits for God receives revelations of things not perceived by the ears nor seen by the eye. 9. Quote R.S.V. rendering of Isa. 50:4: That I might know how to sustain with a word him that is weary. 10. Comment on the R.S.V. rendering: The simplicity of this rendering is as touching as it is unique in that it suggests the upholding and undergirding of a soul bowed with care and weary with life, and doing this not by polished ecclesiastical oratory, but by the right word “fitly spoken,” Prov. 25:11, at the right time, Prov. 25:25. 11. Point out specific areas where both the variety and frequency of the need provide unlimited opportunity for the upholding of others with a God-taught word by someone with or without formal theological training, as seen in: (1) Num. 21:4 — To inspire with hope and courage those that are discouraged because of: a. The hardness of the way. b. Exaggeration by others of our difficulties and problems. (2) John 4:9 — A socially and religiously ostracized soul because of racial prejudice. (3) John 8:1 — 11 — A condemned sinner condemned by other sinners. (4) Luke 6:22 – The persecuted for their faith. (5) I Thess. 5:14 — To comfort the feeble-minded; i.e., the weak. (6) Prov. 25:13 — To refresh in mind and spirit. (7) Acts 14:22 — To reassure in the truth by confirmation and exhortation. (8)Luke 22:31—32 — To strengthen others in the faith when they are under satanic attack, I Pet. 5:8—11. (9) Gal. 6:2 — To take an interest in the burdens of others, to help carry them or lighten them by just being a listening ear. (10) Gal. 6:1 — Restoring a brother (or sister) overtaken by sin in a spirit of self-consideration. (11) Isa. 42:3 — By mending a bruised reed to restore it to its former usefulness. PARENTHETICAL NOTE: The reeds were often flutes made of bamboo carefully prepared by the shepherd to enjoy his favorite tunes for the pleasure of both himself and presumably his sheep. (12) Isa. 42:3 — To restore the light of a flickering oil lamp by cleansing the smoking wick or replenishing the diminishing oil. 12. What bearing does Isa. 50:5—7 have on such high quality and desperately needed ministry, God-taught, Spirit-led, and obediently fulfilled? It shows the high price tag attached to unquestioning obedience, total commitment, the bearing of a heavy cross in personal suffering, the requirement of an inflexible determination combined with an unshakable confidence in the assistance of the Father and the certainty of an ultimate commensurate reward. V. MADE BY HIM, MATT. 4:18-19 A. INTERROGATIVE ANALYSIS 1.Give the implication of “I will make you” Matt. 4:19: (1) This does not merely involve what we would call ministerial preparation, but a complete internal and external transformation of life. (2) These men were sinful men with great personality liabilities like everyone else and had to be conformed to the message they preached and to the God they represented. (3) Such a transformation can only be effected by a diversity of means in a variety of circumstances and by the Lord alone: a. In the school of obedience — “Follow me ” b. By an effective instrumentality — “I will ” c. By a divinely chosen process — “Make you” d. With a divine objective — “Fishers of men” 2. Comment on Gal. 2:8: Such a transformation is an inner work of Christ and tailored to the requirements of a particular ministry and type of personality by means of: (1) The working of the Word of God, Heb. 4:12. (2) The power of the Holy Spirit, Acts. 1:8, 2:14. (3) Providential circumstances, Luke 9:51—56. 3. Comment on the state of the Jewish religious leadership in the days of Jesus as observed in Matt. 23:1—33: It shows the depth to which an ungodly clergy can sink and indeed exposes a deadly malaise from which nominal Christianity has always suffered. Even to this very day a ministerial candidate — yes, even a man established and successful in the ministry — may be in need of being transformed in some of these areas. 4. Point out specific areas where the need of transformation may occur as seen in: (1) Matt. 23:1—33 — Out of the irreligious religion of Pharisaic hypocrisy into the compassion for the needy and afflicted in the Kingdom of God, Matt. 5:31—46. (2) Matt. 27:15—18 — Away from the ecclesiastical envy and ministerial jealousy that begrudges a fellow minister’s success, position or popularity, described by Paul as one of the works of darkness (Rom. 13:12—13) and listed in his most uncomplimentary catalog of sins capable of excluding one from the Kingdom of God (Gal. 5:13—21), to an attitude of good will and rejoicing with those that do rejoice, Rom. 12:15. (3) Luke 9:49-50 — From the carnality of sectarian ill will or even hostility and noncooperation to genuine brotherly love and wholehearted cooperation as workers together in different corners of the same field for the very same Lord of the harvest. (4) Luke 20:46—47 — From the lusts of the flesh and the mind such as: a. The desire for public recognition. b. Occupation of seats of honor. c. The wanton display of long ecclesiastical robes with their enlarged borders to draw extra attention (Matt. 23,:5). d. Lust of position and power. To aspirations more worthy of the Lord such as: a. Willing acceptance of persecution for righteousness’ sake, Matt. 5:10. b. Rejection and reproaches for the Son of Man’s sake, Luke 6:22. c. Being a servant, Matt. 23:11, and washing each other’s feet, John 13:12—13; i.e., performing menial tasks. d. Self-denial and the bearing of the cross, Luke 9:23. (5) John 5:41-44 — From seeking the honor of man to seeking the honor that comes from God. (6) John 21:20—23 — From meddling in our fellow servants’ affairs with raising questions about their ministry to the realization that our own following (lie Lord is our sole concern and that we can do this best by attending to our own affairs, for “who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth.” Rom. 14:4. (7) Acts 10:1-16 – from (he ordinances of man long ago invalidated on the cross and taken out of the way, Col. 2:14 1 7, to freedom from the bondage of restrictive theological legalism in the form of “the commandments and doctrines of men.” Col. 2:20-23, Rom. 14:1-23. (8) James 1:22—27 — From an external religious veneer to pure religion and undefiled before God with characteristics such as: a. A tongue under the control of a sanctified life which itself is under the control of God. James 1:26. b. A compassion for the fatherless and widows, James 1:27. c. A life kept free from the defilement of the world, James 1:27. PARENTHETICAL NOTE: It is self-evident that to effect such transformations in the life of an individual, the Lord may have to come as Refiner and resort to a crucible heated seven times to burn up traditional ecclesiastical dross, expose the alloy and put a ministerial candidate between the anvil and the hammer of the divine Master Smith of whom it is written, “Behold. I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work.” Isa. 54:16. PARENTHETICAL NOTE: Peter serves an an outstanding case in point, demonstrating the need of personal transformation taking place concurrent with theological education, and that notwithstanding the possession of qualities and capabilities in some areas; e.g., Peter had: (1) A genuine revelation. Matt. 16:13—17. (2) A genuine call, Mark 1:16—18. (3) A valid ordination, Mark 3:13—16. (4) Been taught by the Lord, Mark 4:34. (5) Amazing spiritual experience.