Advancing, Never Stopping

---By Joseph Wang

Human history may be likened to an immense stage or play with numerous acts. It always moves forward and never turns back. The age changes, empires rise and fall, and people come and go. Science and technology are rapidly advancing, particularly in recent years. Everything around us changes so quickly. No one would or can keep himself at the same place, doing the same thing forever. Once he stops, he surely is finished and out of the scene.

It is interesting to note, however, that in the entire universe, there is God as the unique One, the One who is self-existing, ever-existing, the Great I Am, always new, fresh, and never-changing. Although this is a divine fact which we all believe, we may not know Him adequately, completely, objectively and subjectively. In fact, many people have spent literally their whole lives as believers, yet actually do not know Him very well at all.

Similarly, the Bible, containing the words of God Himself, may not be well known and understood by many believers. To understand the Bible is not an easy matter. Although it may take a long time to make clear just one or two points, the "knowledge" of knowing God and of understanding the Bible can be accumulated from age to age. In other words, we may learn a great deal from those who have gone before us. Their studies, visions, experiences and accomplishments may all be transmitted to us for our benefit.

Any disciple with a learning heart and a submissive spirit, may learn whatever his master teaches. He may learn to such an extent that he is able to imitate his master's manner of speaking, gestures, and repeatedly practice all the techniques taught by his master. Yet, this is only useful and necessary in the initial stage of learning. It should not be considered as the golden rule for all the stages. Since history is constantly advancing, whosoever is alive at the present time, must keep pace with the times. Certainly, any disciple could and should by all means, aspire to surpass his master and be more developed in his knowledge, technique, and so forth. There should be no limit for his further advancement.

Nevertheless, there is one exception. We can never, ever, surpass our Lord Jesus Christ. Strictly speaking, the word "teacher" in Matthew 10:24 and Luke 6:40 should be referred and applied to the Lord alone and the issue to His suffering persecution or acts only.

God is infinite; we human beings are finite. Our mentality certainly cannot match God's mentality. We can never exhaust God's riches from His words. The Bible can be considered to be opened up to His children only to a certain extent, and we should never assume that it has already been fully and completely unveiled. There is still much room for us to receive new revelations and to have more intrinsic studies. We should make every endeavor to know Him more, and to further understand His words. We should never sit back and be contented, just enjoying what we already have.

On the one hand, our Lord Jesus has been enthroned and is sitting in the heavenlies. On the other hand, He is still quite busy carrying out God's economy so that it will be fully realized in the universe. He never stops His work, and always moves on further and further, advancing moment by moment. How then, dear saints, can we afford to miss any opportunity to advance in His word? We will suffer a great loss if we do not advance. Let us not stop pursuing, but rather redeem our time and grasp opportunities to advance. It is now your move, my move and our move onward. Those saints who have gone before us in the past have already laid a good foundation work for us. They are now waiting for us to stand on their shoulders and keep going forward (cf. Heb 12:1).

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