to All Pinkney Commentary Titles
As many that have received the
gift, minister it to one another,
as good stewards of the manifold Grace of God
2012 PDF Edition of Complete "Disciple's Handbook"
(you will find additional content and updated corrections
from the chapter by chapter links below.)
A Disciples Handbook Complete Version in PDF Form
of God's Power - PDF FILE:
How all believers may receive
'The Promise of the Father'
Through the Holy Spirit
Believer Becomes a Disciple -
IS ABOUT PARTAKING IN THE LIFE OF GOD AND THE MINISTRY OF YESHUA (JESUS)
is the living "head of the church" for all believers. He has
designed a "new and living way" for us to both know him and
follow him, just as the original disciples followed him. During
the Lord's earthly ministry, they walked at his side, talked with him,
and were both witnesses and partakers of his ministry. They knew his
voice; witnessed his power; and marveled at his wisdom. On a strictly
physical level they knew him! Yet, this alone was not considered
adequate to fulfill the ministry commission that was given to them.
These original disciples were instructed that they must
receive a further supernatural empowerment. In order to demonstrate
and build the Kingdom of God there were commanded to. "Wait
in Jerusalem until you receive power from above- -." Today
I suspect that far too few nominal Christians are able to say they know
him on a higher Spiritual level. Yes, one can be taught about him in
the form of religious doctrines but do they know him in the transformative
power of his love and the power of his resurrection?
believers are told to grow and mature in the knowledge of Him who came
to give us a more abundant life through the power of his resurrection.
We are not to remain a novice and a baby in the faith, but that we attain
"unto the stature of a 'mature man' even the stature of Christ."
(Ephesians 4). The exaltation of only a single voice in the role of
headship and authority to disciple new believers is limited and limiting.
Pulpit ministry is how "church has been conducted" becoming
an unfortunate self- perpetuating legacy for 17 centuries of the "Church"
age. Those who in fact have experience in Christ's life and ministry,
by the power of the Holy Spirit are in the word of God called "elders".
Church denominations use this same term in context with their doctrines,
but those who Jesus calls elders may look much different from what religious
traditions might label as elders. The apostle John, the disciple who
Jesus loved, begins his first letter by talking about Spiritual experience
as the qualification (credentials) that we must recognize and lean upon.
He noted what he had seen, touched, looked upon, and handled matters
pertaining to the Word of life. (1John1:1)That
which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen
with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled,
of the Word of life, these things we declare unto you - -;
True fellowship is elusive and hard to achieve since religious traditions tends to separate rather than unite in a sense of belonging and feeling "in one accord." Wrong motives and wrong understandings create disharmony. Correction coupled with forgiveness is occasionally necessary to restore the right Spirit. For we are to have the same Spirit that is Christ's and *"- say the same thing - ", seeking that there be no schisms, walls, or disharmony among us. * (1Cor. 1:10,11)
Transforms, Edifies, Strengthens, and Blesses
The proper and best time to edify and grow is when fellow believers come together in koinonia (fellowship). Even as two or more true believers get together the natural result is to share their common salvation and to have "fellowship" to minister "edification" to each other. When these two or more gather, Jesus 'joins' them and becomes a co-participant through the Holy Spirit! This fellowship process is not complicated, nor formal, it is not domination of one individual authority over another. It is not adversarial. Discipleship happens as we share the several gifts given to each believer. Koinonia is about participation, communication and sharing. As referenced in 1John 1:1-3, It begins with actual experiences given as a witness of Jesus' life and resurrection. It is about the revelation of Christ within each person and how he is living through our lives and doing his work through us. Koinonia is about sharing what Christ has given to each believer and ministering that gift to others. This kind of fellowship is what church is meant to be because in it there is mutual respect, liberty and edification.
According to the measure of God's grace, individuals have unique 'gifts' so they will also have various of testimonies and experiences, some have more, some fewer. There may be some with musical gifts which enhance worship and some with less of that ability. Some may have verbal skills, some less. Some with practical kinds of skills, some not so much. Some may be working through personal tragedies or rejection, while others have already had healing in these areas. All need to be encouraged to participate at some level so that leadership skills may be fostered in each.
The dynamics of fellowship will change from week to week. Few or more people may be present at a house or meeting place and the Spirit of God will act in accordance to the time and persons present. I believe fellowship should never turn into something regimented or formalistic. However it often becomes that especially when everything is controlled by one leader. Those unfamiliar with the kind of fellowship I have described need to experience for themselves what can happen in a place of meeting where the Spirit of God is given liberty! God can make his glorious presence known; lift people out of their fears and oppression; bring joy and healing; restore broken hearts and broken relationships and save peoples souls. The Holy Spirit administers just such actions. (See link to Why We Gather )
The encroachment of formalism
A RELIGIOUS SPIRIT expressed as respect of persons, supremacy, control or formalism, continuously stalks the believer with the aim of transforming God-focused life into dead religion. I suppose church liturgy was born in times past, following the kind of glorious fellowship described above. Liturgical forms may have started with good intentions with the hope of bottling up something very good and worthwhile, perhaps to preserve some of the glory of an earlier day. If only God's manifest presence could be captured and preserved, but alas it can not. The Spirit of God continues to move as the pillar of cloud moved ahead directed the sojourners in the wilderness in the time of Exodus.
The Bible demonstrates that God's presence can not be captured and preserved. The Israelites of old tried to do so, but when God's Glory departed they were left with a lifeless object (a religious artifact or idol.) The temple remained, the glory was gone. The brazen serpent remained, but the manifestation of its power was gone. A cistern remained, the fount of living water was gone. God's continued glory and fellowship with us is determined by the hearts of those who gather to worship him. Years and centuries past and only rituals and catechism remained supplanting the glory that had been lost. The ritual enactments remained and the liturgical trappings but the presence of God vanished. Ritual happens, I believe, when men try to duplicate a behavior which once brought forth God's 'glory' through waiting upon Him in faith.
As God's presence leaves it is replaced by religion. "Ministry" follows a similar transition. Leadership becomes the domain of a very small body of liturgical experts. It has come to pass that the priesthood or the clergy only is trained and authorized to govern and rule over the flock of God. But in the new covenant as it was presented to the saints, discipleship is the domain of every believer.
is a paradigm to re-think: Abolish the Laity!
Disciples, Learning the "Way"
The foundation of the life of Christ is laid by becoming a disciple of Jesus. Just as Jesus set about making disciples in the time of his earthly ministry so he continues today. (John 8:21 ; 17:20) The Great Commission is about discipleship. Too often, the Christian world has made the life of the Bible remote and impersonal through religion . It has made Peter, James and John or John the Baptist into icons or religious super heroes. It is too easy to lose the sense that Peter, James, Paul and Barnabus and the host of others are our brothers and our teachers. Though now having run their race, they shared the same life of trials and faith as we ourselves. In our minds Bible days were entirely another time, another kind of faith life , another dispensation. This is not the case. Religious tradition places men on pedestals. This should not be the case because it is contrary to every apostolic and Christ-uttered teaching. God does not show favoritism nor does he show respect of persons. s many that have received the gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the Grace
may be interested in checking out the writing of Frank Viola and George
Go to next book: Disciples Handbook 03
Understanding Home Fellowships