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Multiplication – The Disciple-Making Lifestyle

“I will greatly bless you, and…multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand, which is on the seashore…” (Genesis 22:17)

 

Part One

The remarkable promise sworn by God to Abraham, on His own “Self,” was the origin of all Hebrew spiritual multiplication. This continued for centuries until and after the arrival of the Messiah.

The Bible says, “By Myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you [Abraham] have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son, indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand, which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. And in your seed, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (Genesis 22:16-18)

Today, in the 21st century, there are currently about 20 million Jewish people who are principally living in only fifteen countries. Sadly, a great many of them no longer profess to know Jehovah or believe in His inspired Word. However, over 2 ½ billion Gentiles globally follow, love, and personally believe in the Hebrew people’s One true living God and Jesus of Nazareth His Messiah, who came directly from Abraham’s seed. Stop to consider – is this not what God meant when He promised Abraham, “…in your seed all the nations of the earth will be blessed?” Clearly, redeeming faith passed on by spiritual multiplication was always God’s amazing plan for inclusively, “blessing all the nations of the earth!”

 

Part Two

Across the many early centuries following Abraham, God’s promise was fulfilled by physical multiplication through Abraham’s descendants. However, in Jehovah’s sovereign timing when the Messiah miraculously arrived, heaven’s promises were wonderfully fulfilled! (See Isaiah 7:14, 53:2-12, 56:8, 49:6, 60:1-3) Soon after that, Abraham’s seed also began blessing the Gentile nations – even though they were not originally God’s people!

Thoughtfully, consider and then rejoice over God’s words written through His Hebrew prophet Hosea, “I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ and they shall say, ‘You are my God!’” (Hosea 2:23) Now, slowly reread this highly understandable prophesy. Devout believing Gentiles were prophetically expected to become just like the devout believing Hebrews in the eyes of God. The finished work of salvation accomplished through heaven’s spotless Lamb (see 1 Peter 1:18-19) was genetically from the seed of Abraham. God’s own perfect self-sacrifice ushered in a new global era designed to bless all repentant and believing sinners everywhere.

 

Part Three

Spiritual multiplication literally exploded on the day of Pentecost as Joel 2:28-29 was publicly being fulfilled, and God began – pouring out His Spirit upon all believing people (see Acts 2:17-18). First, in only two days 5,000 devout Hebrews accepted their Messiah, and soon after that many thousands more Hebrew believers followed. Later, through Paul’s powerful preaching, hundreds of Gentiles also started coming to faith. This was how through Abraham’s seed, “all the nations would be blessed.” God’s Hebrew Messiah became the world’s eternal Savior and the source of every nation’s promised spiritual blessing!

The secret to understanding Hebrew prophesy concerning the Gentile nations simply requires remembering that the Biblical word “nations” does not merely refer to the small number of Hebrews who were then living in the many Gentile population centers. Those early Hebrew believers who were living in such locations, as Isaiah explained, were to be, “…a light to the nations.” (Isaiah 42:6) Why? Because the Gentiles were eventually going to understand the truth – respond in faith and be blessed spiritually through the “seed of Abraham.”  Moses, Isaiah, King David, and Hosea’s inspired writing made that abundantly clear.

 

Part Four

Said simply, the small monotheistic Hebrew communities were supposed to be presenting God’s truth to the much larger Gentile world. Their Messiah, would as the result of any Gentile’s sincere faith, provide salvation to them – in every nation!

Over time, through spiritual multiplication, as God’s Psalmist prophesized, “All the nations You have made will come and worship before You, Lord; they will bring glory to Your name.” and “…all the families of the nations will worship before You.” (Psalm 86:9, 22:27) This is currently what is taking place spiritually and giving meaning to human history.

The redeeming promises made to Abraham are still in the process of being fulfilled. This is currently taking place in hundreds of languages in most of the world’s nations. However, for God’s promised plan to be fully realized, spiritual multiplication must take place globally through Jesus’ chosen methodology of personal disciple-making relationships.

 

Part Five

The earliest centuries of Hebrew faith largely depended on biological multiplication. This was primarily accomplished by having multiple wives and a large number of children. Each new generation was to faithfully instruct their family concerning Jehovah. God spoke to Moses about this saying, “these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)

This was originally the Biblical method for disciple-making, but after the Messiah left, God’s growing family became His church. The Lord then said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 28:19) Notice that the same “all nations” theme and God’s original promise given to Abraham never changed!

 

Part Six

Yes, both physical and spiritual multiplication were historically important in the Hebrew faith. Multiplication was how the Gentiles finally joined history’s believing Jews – in knowing, loving, and personally worshipping the One true living God! As the Bible explains, the Gentiles who became devoted believers in the Hebrew Messiah were simply “grafted in” through their personal faith (see Romans 11:17).

The countless believers in God’s Messiah were to continually multiply! This would continue until they finally covered the earth! Then when God’s good news about His heavenly kingdom had fully been proclaimed, “…in all the world unto every nation…” the Messiah promised that “the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14) That is the ultimate spiritual objective and global redemptive purpose of Abraham’s physical and spiritual – “Seed.”   This is why Biblical disciple-making still – greatly matters!

 

By Billie Hanks Jr.

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