Discipleship 1
paradigms Discipleship1
Chapter 1 PDF

Discipleship 2
Koinonia/Sharing
Chapter 2 PDF

Discipleship3
Apostolic Roots
Chapter 3 PDF

Discipleship 4
Maturing to Minister
Chapter 4 PDF

Discipleship 5
Gathering Believers
Chapter 5 PDF

Discipleship 6
Jesus' Pattern in Ministry

Chapter  
6 PDF

Discipleship 7
Maturing in Christ
Chapter 7PDF

Discipleship 8
Ministry
Chapter 8PDF

Discipleship 9
Giving - Tithes
Chapter 9 PDF

Discipleship 10
worship

Chapter 10 PDF

A Disciple's Handbook Complete PDF



INTRODUCTION TO DISCIPLESHIP
Link to All Pinkney Commentary Titles

A DISCIPLE'S HANDBOOK

Discipleship Through Living the Truth



INTRODUCTION TO DISCIPLESHIP
Charles Pinkney

Believers need to be nurtured in order to grow as disciples. The 'great commission' was given by the risen Messiah to his original disciples. In it he commands them to "make disciples" of every nation. This reveals two important foundational principles: First that the kingdom would grow through the making of disciples; and second, that these disciples would be from not only Judea (Jewry) but from every nation. Prior to this the "Gospel of the Kingdom" was confined only to the people of Israel who worshiped JHVH God. The age of the "Church" of Jesus Christ was about to be birthed into existence. Previously prophecy hinted at the time when the gentiles would be brought into the covenant; but when and how this would happened was not considered seriously nor understood. The Church was born at Pentecost which occurred about a week after Jesus commissioned his assembled disciples and then ascended into the heavens.

When I use the term "church" I always imagine it in quotations because not everyone regards this word the same way. How we in the twenty-first century regard it is a far cry from that experienced and understood by the disciples who witnessed the arrival of the Kingdom of God in power at that first Pentecost.

I imagine that it is the familiar church-house model where most Christians routinely meet that most of us think of when we refer to the church. We typically think of a location, an edifice and a kind of meeting that might occur at this place called "worship." This reference is not the original New Testament model. The term Ek-kles-sia in the original Greek text is translated "Church" throughout the Bible. The proper connotation of Ekklessia is the called out, the gathered out ones. We tend to assume that church life in early Christian times is equal to its present day form. However, the form of the 'church' in the days of the apostles was quite unlike modern understanding of familiar religious forms built around a church house.

In ancient times Ekklessia was a form of gathering in which members came together to transact a specific kind of business on behalf of a community. In the case of the Christian Ekklessia it was and is the business of the heavenly shepherd, Christ Jesus. In this kind of fellowship all members are called to participate actively. In this church body we are called out of the world by the Spirit to be a part of Christ's body, (He, Christ the Messiah, is the head over the church.) All members bring with them unique abilities, gifts or enablements. God's grace provides the activation or enablement of those many gifts that are needed for Spiritual fellowship and growth in understanding. (1 Peter 4:11)

Becoming A Disciple

Membership (discipleship) in the Body of Christ, occurs through faith by believing.
We have to have a belief that somehow addresses:
Who Jesus is,
What He has done, and
What we expect Him to do for us.

When we come to Jesus we believe that:
He is alive,
He is supernaturally empowered and able to do it, and
That He is willing and able to fulfill every promise that He promised in His word.

There is a general attitude that joining a church is the source of entry into God's kingdom. This is assuredly not the case! The entry point in reality, is that of having your name written in the "Book of Life." No church can do this although they would like to hold to that position. The membership of becoming a disciple is established by a supernatural and sovereign act of God. It has been called by various names: Coming from death into life; being born of the spirit; becoming a new creation; being born again; having your sins forgiven and wiped clean, being born from above.

The Holy Spirit is the divine personage who brings to each believer the gifts or enablements of Grace. The role of the Holy Spirit is to reveal Jesus and deliver His knowledge, His attribues of character, and His power to us. We who are called out to partake in the Kingdom of God are empowered to grow, mature, gain experience and develop testimonies concerning the Kingdom of God. These testimonies are our personal 'God Stories.' "We declare the things we know and we testify about the things that we have seen." (John 3:11) This is what it means when the resurrected Jesus declares, "You shall be witnesses to me, In Jerusalem, In Judea, Samaria and to the uttermost parts of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

These God stories and testimonies, when shared, build faith among those with whom we share. Testimonies describe the reality and the dynamics of how heaven touches us individually. Through the power of Grace, we are not only regenerated and converted into the kingdom of God, but also endowed with various Spiritual gifts. These gifts are supplied to every believer as enablements that bear witness of God's presence in our own day to day experience. There is through the ongoing "Grace of God" enablements to learn the Word, depart from the past life from which we were rescued, and eventually mature and grow as a disciple who can function in a particular way in the Body of Christ, which is the church. Church house religion, has proven to be deficient in providing a platform to grow and flourish as a disciple who is a partaker in the things of God. It is God's intention to use all whom he calls. The true expression of the ekklessia is to provide a platform for both growth and ministry. I dare say that such a platform is mostly absent and not available in the majority of traditional churches.

Among the assertions I want to present in discussions of discipleship is that we as believers after being born of the Spirit, may not only know God, but that we all (men, women, boys, or girls) can have a spiritually empowered life. The "church" as Jesus Christ established it, was given this provision. But in spite of this provision, both knowing God and developing a spiritual life, is often unrealized in the institutional church. Time, circumstance and unrelenting forces of spiritual resistance (authored by our spiritual adversary) embattle believers, to derail or to side track us from attaining the spiritual life. Human traditions are instigated instead. Jesus warned his disciples in Mark 15 to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and also the leaven of Herod, superficial religiosity, and worldliness. Jude, half brother and an apostle of Jesus, writes that we must, " - - earnestly contend for the faith given to us by the apostles.

AN INTRODUCTION TO DISCIPLESHIP

Disciples, Learning the "Way"
The foundation of the life of Christ begins when we become a disciple of Jesus. As Jesus made disciples in the time of His earthly ministry, so he continues today. (John 8:21 ; 17:20) Religion has made the life of the Bible dry, remote and impersonal. Christian religion has made Peter, James and John or John the Baptist into icons or religious folk heroes. The sense of these being our brothers in the faith, sharing the same life of trials, has been all but lost. In our minds Bible days were another time, another kind of application. This is not so. Religious tradition places the apostles on pedestals. This should not be so, because it is contrary to every apostolic and Christ-uttered teaching. God does not show favoritism nor does he show respect of persons. We do not worship men. Even the greatest were partakers of a "gift" as we are.

A short time after the apostolic age, lust for human rulership and impure motives undermined the apostolic foundations. Liberty and spiritual forms of worship began to erode. We are entitled to the same promises and gospel practices that New Testament believers knew. The Christian life, being Holy Spirit inspired, is not of human authorship nor human tradition. It is the way that I have found to be God inspired, life-changing, fulfilling, and in perfect accord with the Bible.

Discipleship described here is modeled by the saints and apostles in the beginning of this church age. Many denominations and religious teachers, attempt to mentor and advise others about the spiritual life. Since there has been a history of promoting religious traditions instead of knowing God, it is important that we look to grow in wisdom through the guidance of the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit.

God has told us through the Word (James) that we may ask for wisdom or truth to be revealed to us. He further instructs us to be confident knowing that God is willing to give good gifts which bring fulfillment and blessings and not sorrows. When seeking the revelations which are of God and not false we must be fully aware of the risk of error and counterfeit. Deception and false teaching is everywhere. In order to discern the true from the false It is very important to invoke the name of Jesus Christ. His is the name above every name! And also know that His Spirit will not lead us into bondage, fear, submission to abusive men, or lawlessness. Meekness, gentleness, compassion and service to others is the right spirit.

The Bible teaches that Jesus' name commands all powers of heaven and earth. It is above the authority of any other god or angel or worldly authority. The word states that at the name of Yeshua, Jesus, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess his lordship. It is in His name that we can consecrate any prayer or any request. It is a safeguard and assurance that anything which will be revealed or imparted spiritually will be without deceptive influence. If you ask in Jesus, name the deceiver is unlikely to make his intrusion.

The Seeker Becomes Reconciled with God

The true Spirit of Christ Jesus is the spirit of love, forgiveness, gentleness, meekness, selflessness, and patience. It is not tinged with fear, with condemnation, with urgency or panic, It is not contaminated by a lust for personal gain, ownership of another or any desire to control or manipulate another person. Check yourself if you are seeking with motives containing any of the negatives stated above for they are contrary to the nature of the God who will insure your being lead into truth.

Receiving True Gifts and not Counterfeit
Jesus instructs us about receiving gifts from God, especially the gift of the Holy Spirit. He teaches us that the God of heaven gives good gifts and not devilish or perverted ones. Christ also characterizes the fact that there are two sources who might affect spiritual results. God's gifts are good and true. Let us look at the scripture found in Matthew 7:8-11 and in Luke 11:11-13: These shed light on Spiritual gifts. The greatest gift is to become a "New Creation." It is the gift of God to recreate our nature into something fit for God's purposes. See 2 Corinthians, 5:17.

"For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened."Matt 6:8;"Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?" :9; "Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?":10; "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" -- :11. The two gifts which are requested are bread and a fish, God gives things which are life-giving (bread) and safe (meat of fish). Luke chapter eleven restates the same teaching about asking from God the Father with a slightly different emphasis, and includes the gift of the Holy Spirit which is the living gift of God's power and presence:  "If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?"; "Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?" "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" -- Luke 11:11-13

The references to the counterfeit gifts are not just coincidental or random examples they represent the fact that there is a source of the bad gift. The enemy is Satan. He does not give good gifts, nor give valid revelations. His gifts are not life giving, they give neither joy, nor health nor liberty. Yet it is possible that he will try to come in unless you exclude him from having any part of the asking and seeking transaction (namely the spiritual search for a spiritual life.) Satan's gift is characterized as a stone instead of bread, as a serpent instead of pure food, a poisonous scorpion instead of an egg.  Jesus has portrayed Satan as the deadly counterfeiter who will insinuate himself into the seekers life subtly and at any opportunity. Forewarned is forearmed; for this reason we will need to initiate safe guards and precautions as I suggested above in order to keep the deceiver out of your life.  There was a time when our lives were entirely under his (Satan's) control. We may not think that this was the case but the apostle is very clear about it. A couple of apostolic letters bring attention to the nature of the unredeemed life, common to each and every life before that life is renewed In Christ.

Paul states in his letter to Ephesus, Chapter 2, verses 2 and 3."- - in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, (Satan) the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience; Among whom also we all had our conversation (lifestyle) in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." Paul's letter to Colossae, Chapter 1 verse 21."And you, that were sometime before now) alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled" Paul's letter to Corinth, Chapter 1 verses 10 and 11, "Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God; And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."

A Disciples Handbook Complete Version in PDF Form

Two Worlds and the Heavenly Realm: Accessing Heavenly

Two Worlds and the Heavenly Realm: Accessing Heavenly - -PDF

 

Mystery of God's Power - PDF FILE:
Believers empowered by the Holy Spirit Baptism

E Book 1:
The Gospel Without Religion

E Book 2:

A Disciples Handbook

E Book 3:

Mysteries in the Bible

Index to all Charles Pinkney Christian Titles

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E Book 1:
The Gospel Without Religion

E Book 2:

A Disciples Handbook

E Book 3:

Mysteries in the Bible Index to all Charles Pinkney Christian Titles

Index to all Charles Pinkney Christian Titles

Resources: Understanding Home Fellowships

Frank Viola Interviews a typical church-goer

(Discussion of Open Church)

Frank Viola
"Who's Your Covering"

"Rethinking the Wineskin"

 

 

 

 


Index to all Charles Pinkney Christian Titles

 

Updated 11-2017