Multiplication and Mobilization
Tony Cooke

Multiplication and Mobilization by Tony CookeThose two words—multiplication and mobilization—have been strong on my heart in recent times. One of the verses that powerfully conveys the idea behind these two words is what we call “The 222 Principle” found in 2 Timothy 2:2, which reads, “And the things that you have heard from me… commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

Timothy was to impart these truths, not just to one successor, but to faithful men (plural) who would then teach others. Note, there was to be both multiplication and mobilization. If we multiply without mobilizing, we’ll have a lot of people, but they won’t be equipped to do anything. If we mobilize without multiplying, we’ll simply replace ourself with one person who simply carries on as we did. It’s great for a leader to train a successor, but God has called us to do more than that; we want to see many laborers raised up to carry on the work of God.

The principle of multiplication and mobilization is seen in the mandate which Oral Roberts received when he was given the assignment of starting a university. He sensed the Lord telling him, “Raise up your students to hear My voice, to go where My light is dim, where My voice is heard small, and My healing power is not known, even to the uttermost bounds of the earth. Their work will exceed yours, and in this I am well pleased.”

As spiritual leaders, what we facilitate (through empowering others) should exceed what we personally accomplish (by doing it our own self). When you stop and think about it, Jesus’ entire ministry was based on this premise of multiplying and mobilizing. He selected twelve disciples (and then there was a more broad group of seventy), and He spent three years pouring Himself into them so that they could carry on His work after Him. He selected them, trained them, empowered them, and commissioned them.

Jesus not only commissioned His disciples to carry on His work, but He made a very astounding statement, one which many people still wrestle with today. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12).

Many discussions have taken place over what Jesus meant when He said that we would not only do the works He did, but that we would do even greater works. After all, how could we do greater works than walking on water or raising the dead? How do we do greater works than cleansing the lepers and making the lame to walk? That sounds like a pretty tall order.

Perhaps we’ve missed great opportunities relative to John 14:12 because we’ve thought the “greater works” had to do with works being more dramatic, more spectacular, and more sensational instead of recognizing what Jesus would consider greater works. The Lord said, “…whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant” (Matthew 20:26). If I understand this properly, we see the same and greater works expressed when we focus on serving extravagantly (which is how Jesus defined greatness).

I believe that a key to understanding the greater works pertains to the phrase, “…because I go to the Father.” Elsewhere, Jesus taught that when He went to the Father, the Holy Spirit would then be sent to indwell and to empower believers (John 7:39; 16:7; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8). Because Jesus’ representatives were anointed by the Spirit, they were able to do the kinds of works Jesus did, and even greater works, just as Jesus said. In what way were their works—and the works of the Church today—greater than those of Jesus?

  1. Their works were greater geographically. Jesus Himself only ministered in the relatively small confines of Israel, whereas His early disciples branched out throughout the Roman Empire and beyond.
  2. Their works were greater numerically. Jesus’ personal ministry, during His time on earth, was limited to who He could speak to and interact with within the limitations of His own physical body. He could only be in one place at one time. However, as the early believers were empowered by the Spirit, Jesus’ ministry was no longer limited to one person, but God was able to minister to many more people because there were now many Spirit-empowered people through whom He could minister.
  3. Their works were greater spiritually. Some might balk at this and think that nothing could be more spiritual than Jesus’ ministry. But keep in mind, when Jesus was here on earth, the Spirit had not been given the way He would be after Jesus’ resurrection. After the resurrection, people could actually become born-again and Spirit-filled in a way that was not possible before. Hence, the early disciples had the distinct privilege of leading people into the new birth and into the infilling of the Holy Spirit—something Jesus did not personally do while ministering on earth.
  4. Their works were greater in scope. While Jesus’ ministry was primarily geared toward teaching, preaching, and healing, the early disciples not only continued those works, but they also began to build fully-constituted New Testament congregations. Even in the miraculous realm, there were types of healings that took place in the early church that had not occurred in Jesus’ ministry. People were healed when Peter’s shadow passed over them (Acts 5:15-16) and also when cloths were taken to the sick from the Apostle Paul (Acts 19:11-12). In natural areas, disciples in later generations would build and operate orphanages, schools, homeless shelters, and hospitals in Jesus’ name. Publishing houses would print and distribute Bibles and Christian literature, radio and television stations would broadcast the gospel to mass multitudes. Satellite and Internet technology would convey God’s Word to every corner of the world. Evangelists and missionaries would conduct mass evangelistic and healing meetings and reach millions of lost and hurting people with the message and the power of God’s love.

Jesus was very serious when He said that we would do the works He did, and even greater works. If we truly believe and obey Him, we will set our hearts to do just that. The early disciples picked up the torch and began doing His works and the greater works, and it is our responsibility to continue doing the same today!

With these understandings, we thank God for all of the great multiplying and mobilizing elements at work in the earth. For example, the local church, Bible schools, helps and ministers conferences, discipleship and mentoring programs, etc. As important as all of these are, let’s not forget the vital role that our example can and should play in influencing others.

Paul was aware of the vital role of “modeling.” In other words, he realized that his very life was designed to be exemplary, and was supposed to be worthy of emulation. When disciples see godly lifestyles demonstrated before them, they are encouraged to follow in the same steps.

1 Corinthians 11:1 (AMP)
Pattern yourselves after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah).

Philippians 4:9 (NKJV)
The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:9 (AMP)
Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.

To me, all of this works together. We not only want to see the works of Jesus multiplied through the lives of believers, but we also want to see the nature and character of God multiplied in the lives of those who follow Jesus. Acts 4:13 says, “…when they saw the boldness of Peter and John… they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” Jesus had multiplied Himself into the lives of the disciples, and He had mobilized them to represent Him through godly works. May this divinely ordained process continue and increase in our day.