The Life of a Disciple
By: Apostle Skhumbuzo Sangweni
Study Scripture (Revelation 10:8-11) Then the voice which I heard from heaven, I heard again speaking with me, and saying, “Go, take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land. So I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. And he said to me, “Take it and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and in my mouth it was sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter. So they said to me, “You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.”
The prophet Ezekiel was also told to eat the book, and then to go and speak to the people. It is required of prophets that they themselves partake of the Word and digest it so that it is part of them before they speak it to others.
Pseudo prophets often proclaim judgments and condemnation on others as if they themselves are different and righteous. Biblical prophets used the term “we” when confessing the sins of the people. Biblical prophets did not stand apart from the people, but as one of them, interceding for them. This is the nature of Christ, who became one of us and identified Himself as “The Son of Man” so that He could be the true Mediator for man. Christians are called to be the salt and light of the world, so if the world has fallen to corruption and darkness in our times, it has been on our watch. We cannot compromise the truth and fail to proclaim the certain consequences of the evil and perversion growing in our time.
To be true messengers of Christ, we must, like Him, identify with the people and be willing to lay down our lives for them. Only the death of Christ, the perfect Lamb of God, can be the propitiation for sin. Our death, whether it is dying daily as we are called to do, or our ultimate death, is the result of standing for the truth. It is the witness of the cross that will inevitably result in the salvation of others. Just before the Lord was taken up into heaven, He said to His disciples, “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The Greek word translated “witnesses” in this text is martus, from which we derive the English word “martyr.” We are all called to be martyrs every day.
Jesus commanded His disciples to take up their crosses and die daily. All but one ended their lives by being executed for their unrelenting declaration of the Gospel. John, the one whose death is not recorded, suffered repeated attempts to execute him, but even when they boiled him in oil he was not harmed, and they could not kill him. This is why he was exiled to the Isle of Patmos.
The life of a disciple would seem like a hard one, but it is actually the ultimate life. As the Lord taught, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25). When we lay down our own lives and interests for the sake of serving the Lord, we will live the greatest, most noble lives. We join the greatest adventure found in this life, and we enter an eternal fellowship with the greatest souls that have walked the earth.