Letter 11: Discipleship – Our Objective

The Letters of Faith
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective

“The disciple is not above his Master,
but everyone that is perfect shall be as his Master”
(Luke 6:40 ENB).

My Dear Disciple;

How delightful is your confession, and how magnificent is your praise.  Glory and honor, power and dominion, majesty and might, to the only True Elohim – and unto our Redeemer from Heaven!  Praise unto Yehoshua for His indescribable gift.  The angels in heaven are rejoicing in your declaration of faith, beloved, and I am too!

I was prepared to continue writing at our previously established level, but now I am free to fully express my heart and the fullness of Scripture, without the fear of alienating you.  As fellow partakers in the glory of Elohim, with The Holy Spirit now abiding within both our hearts, I am free to speak as if unto Elohim Himself.  And with Yehoshua now seated at the throne of your heart, I am confident that His love for you, and through you, will become more evident as the days go by.

For you, and for all our beloved brethren around the world, I offer the following at this time:

YEHOWAH bless you, and keep you; YEHOWAH make His face
to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; YEHOWAH
lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace

(Numbers 6:24-26 ENB).

And thank you for your expressions of thankfulness.  As a sinner, however, redeemed by The Blood of The Lamb, I am unworthy of your accolades.  To quote another brother, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have, I give to you in the name of Yehoshua ha Mashiach of Nazareth” (Acts 3:6 ENB).  Thank you though, above all, for your prayers.

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Growth & Maturity

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective – Growth & Maturity

Now that grace has been received into your life, and now that you have declared your faith and acceptance of Yehoshua as Messiah and Master, we can discuss matters of growth and maturity; matters of faithful obedience.  You have moved beyond the stage of a seeker, and have become one desiring Discipleship.

And your Discipleship is no less significant in Elohim’s sight than that of James, John, Peter, Paul, or the rest of the first century Disciples.

From the original twelve Disciples, and from the later addition of Paul and Barnabas, we quickly learn that Discipleship is not an event.  (Look at Paul’s testimony, for example, in Galatians 1:11-24).

Our lives, just like theirs, and the disciplines we strive to acquire, are a process.  Every Disciple of Yehoshua must recognize that only by abiding in Him, though, can we attain the fullness of His plans for us.
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Growth & Maturity  It would be magnificent if we could open the Bible, read the Word of Elohim, and know every teaching, intent, nuance and desire of Elohim’s heart.
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Growth & Maturity  It would be wonderful if we could fall on our face before Him and request knowledge, understanding, discernment, insight and wisdom, in their totality, and have these abilities instantly at our disposal.

Unfortunately, Elohim does not work this way.

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Growth & Maturity  What our Father will do though, is permit us to gain in all of these areas through the study of His Word, and through the experiences and processes of life.  When we study His Word, seeking knowledge with all our heart, He imparts knowledge at a digestible and maintainable pace.  While the pace will differ for each child, the end result remains constant: Growing unto Yehoshua.

Discipleship is a Process

I have always maintained that the discipleship process, and the acquiring of Scriptural knowledge, can be likened to the construction of a brick building.
Discipleship process  First, a firm and solid foundation is essential.  Our foundation is Yehoshua ha Mashiach.
Discipleship process  Then, once the foundation is established, a little mortar gets placed and the first brick is set.

The mortar is the Word of Elohim, Scripture, because His Word is what holds everything we know together.
The brick is a piece of wisdom, knowledge, insight or understanding, and as mortar gets spread (As the Word is studied and learned), more bricks are set (We grow in our comprehension – and application), and the process of growth (discipleship) continues throughout our life.
The Holy Spirit, by the way, is the Plumb Line – He always keeps everything in check, if we trust and rely upon Him.

Discipleship process  Just like brick building construction though, the first course must be set before the second course may begin.  Sure, walls may have tiers at different levels, like a stairway, but the first brick must be set before another can be placed upon it.

If you seriously consider the lives of the Old Covenant Disciples (yes, they were Disciples) and if you study the Apostles and Disciples of the New Covenant, you will discover that they all suffered through tremendous periods of learning and growth.  They all had to go through the process of setting aside the worldly, in order to attain full reverence unto Elohim.  Such is our quest.

Discipleship process  Along with an awareness of spiritual warfare, therefore, we must gain an awareness of the realities of discipleship, because as we identify and fight the forces of evil in the heavenlies thru our prayers, and as we set aside that which may interfere with our walk (like I did with smoking*), Elohim will nurture our growth, and compel us along His chosen path for us.

Elohim wants us to know what we are fighting for, and what the basic spiritual requirements, responsibilities and rewards of faithful service are.  Just like those who have gone before us, Elohim wants for each of us to be everything we would like to be.  And in knowing the realities of Discipleship, we begin adding bricks to our building – which as we already know, reach to the very throne of heaven.

*(And please know, my friend, that I am in no way dictating that every disciple of Yehoshua must give-up the smoking of cigarettes, cigars or pipes…  Each disciple is called to walk according to the path assigned.  My path required that I surrender this thing that held sway over me).

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Being a P*R*A*I*S*E*R

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective – Being a P*R*A*I*S*E*R

A Disciple, therefore, is a devoted PRAISER – someone who seeks for the honor and glory of Elohim.  PRAISER is an acronym I occasionally use to describe a believer who knows the Purposes, Requirements, Assurances, Instructions, Signs, Expense and Rewards for those who would follow YEHOSHUA. “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, to see whether they have enough to finish it” (Luke 14:28 ENB).

The following outline, therefore, presents the basics of a P*R*A*I*S*E*R; the basics for a tower builder.  I humbly submit this simple teaching to you:

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - The first thing for a PRAISER to know, therefore, is their Purpose:

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective – The first thing for a PRAISER to know, therefore, is their Purpose:

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - The first thing a PRAISER must know, therefore, is their Purpose: “All authority is given Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and disciple all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and The Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you. And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20 ENB).  (This, by the way, is referred to as “The Great Commission”).
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - The first thing a PRAISER must know, therefore, is their Purpose: “In much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge increases sorrow” (Ecclesiastes 1:18 ENB).

We were created to glorify Elohim.  In every generation, Elohim has raised up His chosen ones, insuring a remnant that do not bow to Baal.  As Disciples of Yehoshua in this generation, therefore, the mantle now passes to us.  The manner and intensity in which we glorify Elohim magnifies as we draw near to Him, and our responsibility increases as He reveals Himself to us.  We are to devote our lives to praise, prayer and performance, because He is our purpose and our goal; “For to live is Messiah”.

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Discipleship Requirements

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective – The second PRAISER area of consideration then, are the Requirements:

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Second for Discipleship are the Requirements: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born again, they cannot see the kingdom of Elohim” (John 3:3 ENB).
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Second for Discipleship are the Requirements: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born of water and of The Spirit, they cannot enter into the kingdom of Elohim” (John 3:5 ENB).
nugget “Seek YEHOWAH, all you humble of the earth who have done His judgments; seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden in the day of YEHOWAH’S anger” (Zephaniyeh 2:3 ENB).
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Second for Discipleship are the Requirements: “Speaking the truth in love, we may grow up in all ways into Him, who is the head, Messiah” (Ephesians 4:15 ENB).
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Second for Discipleship are the Requirements: “In this are manifest the children of Elohim and the children of the devil: whoever does not righteousness is not of Elohim, neither are they who love not their brother” (1 John 3:10 ENB).

A Disciple of Yehoshua ha Mashiach must be born-again!  But why is that necessary, what precisely does that mean, and how is it accomplished?

The necessity of being “Born-Again” is found in two powerfully connected passages within Genesis, and one from the Gospel of John, because once analyzed, these three verses speak reams to us.

Necessity of Being Born-Again:

Before the fall in the Garden of Eden, when man was originally created, we find the Holy Word saying,  “And Elohim created man in His image, in the image of Elohim He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27 ENB).

After the fall, however, we now find the following being said, “And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image, and called his name Seth” (Genesis 5:3 ENB).

As I pondered these two passages, my heart literally raced to our Master’s conversation with Nicodemus in John 3, and the fullness of why Yehoshua said,
“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born again, they cannot see the kingdom of Elohim”, sprang to life in my heart, mind and soul…

We are offspring of Adam and Eve.  We are born into this world in the image and likeness of our “fallen” parents.  The only way we can ever enter into the Kingdom of Elohim, therefore, is by being born again unto Elohim – in water and in Spirit.  And this process of being born-again, only begins through the acceptance of Yehoshua ha Mashiach as our personal Messiah, Master and King…

The instant an individual acknowledges Elohim as their creator, acknowledging their sinful state to His majestic holiness, and in that moment believes in their cleansing through the shed blood of Yehoshua ha Mashiach; in that moment in which that person bows in recognition of Elohim’s sovereignty and dominion, and humbly cries out to Yehoshua, “Master, save me,” as did Peter (Matthew 14:29 ENB) in the realization that they are doomed without Him, and then determine to dedicate their lives to the faithful obedience of His Mastership; in the moment they claim Him as their personal Messiah, Master and King, in that instant, they are spiritually Born-Again unto Elohim.

Born-Again (As In The Garden) in the image and likeness of our Elohim!

How about Immersion Baptism?

I believe that once we are Born-Again, Elohim commands us to follow His example of immersion baptism.  The passages in the concordance present irrefutable evidence in support of this.  In teaching an immersion baptism though, I am not advocating legalism or ritualism.

Understanding Elohim lies in the fact that Elohim is Spirit, and His requirements are Spiritual.  While we may not understand His workings, we must concede that, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says YEHOWAH” (Isaiyeh 55:8 ENB).  Sometimes we need to take the Word of Elohim at face value, when understood in the proper context, and by faith, do whatever it is that He desires.

For some, baptism will be that step of faith, while for others; water immersion will be a natural expression of their desire to follow Him.  It was for me!

The Bible is not a collection of stories and fables, but Words of salvation, life, fulfillment, joy and eternal happiness.  His Word, therefore, must be examined, digested and reacted upon for His glory.  Unless we seek Elohim in the pages of His revealed Word, we will never know Him, but once we find Him; once we know His desires, as we locate them one-by-one, we must act upon what we have learned in order to please Him.

Right Living & Patient Endurance:

Righteousness is a faithful life of right living, but attainment of these things is no simple matter.  In order to teach faith, Elohim causes our circumstances to be such that we must figuratively walk on water.  If humility is lacking, our Father will place His child in a humbling circumstance until the lesson of humility is learned.  Patience is taught in impatient situations.

Whatever disciplines are lacking, Elohim wisely uses opposing circumstances, of ever-increasing degrees, to produce the desired result, so that we may, “Grow up in all ways into Him, who is the head, Messiah” (Ephesians 4:15 ENB).  The Disciple must be committed to these realities, and should not only expect a gradual and progressive change in their life, but desire one as well.  This is fruit brought about through discipline!

Another Personal Example:

Immediately after becoming a Disciple, events transpired that resulted in my being unemployed.  Although I did everything required to find a job, Elohim had other plans.  In between resume’s and networking, I studied the Word of Elohim.  A week turned into months and employment was not found.  Miraculously, our financial needs were met, but “Worldly” pressure steadily grew.

As the studies continued, our fellowship at the church we were attending intensified.  Some members of this Ekklesia were dynamic leaders of the community, both political and business, and from their example, Elohim began teaching me how to be a Disciple in the workplace.  After reading, “The Christian Employee”, by Robert Maddox, it seemed as if I had received my diploma, and the door of opportunity flew open.

The lessons Elohim had been teaching me throughout the period of unemployment prepared me for a return to the workplace as His representative.

The fullness of His miracle did not occur for another four months though, and we still marvel at His workings in our lives at that time.

We relocated to the city with the new job, and while we rented a house, our desire was to purchase a home for use in our new ministry.  We had very little capital, and when we discussed our situation with the realtor’s, they laughed, telling us we would never find what we were looking for.  We believed, however, that this was the Masters will for us, so we continued praying and searching.  Eventually we found a young realtor of faith who, although he thought we were insane, acknowledged the reality of faith in our lives, and together we searched.

After an especially depressing period, our new realtor phoned with the news that he had found a listing he was certain met our needs.  Miraculously, it fit our budget too.  Around 9:00 PM, excited but skeptical, we drove to see the house.  Immediately upon entering the front door, we knew we were home.  Elohim worked through our faith to provide a job and the home, and while neither search was easy, He was always reassuring us.

Faith is learned under circumstances requiring faithful living.

And then there is love, the last basic Requirement of a PRAISER.

Do you remember reading, “Elohim is love” (1 John 4:8 ENB)?

Throughout these letters I have attempted to point you toward the truth about love.  Love of Elohim; Love for Elohim; Love of the truth; Love for our neighbors and enemies alike; Love for the brethren; and Love of justice and mercy.

All of these aspects of love have been presented throughout these writings, but – as a human, I must confess my oft-failures in  this particular arena.
Personal Failures  Try as I might, finding love in my heart for those who personally offend or betray me, is NOT an easy task.
Personal Failures  Try as I might, loving those whom I perceive as political enemies of my Nation, eludes me the majority of the time.  Pray as I might for these individuals, my prayers also contain the desire for His intervention when “these individuals” persist in their destructive practices and refuse to “Repent”…
Personal Failures  Try as I might, I have difficulty even loving the rude and impolite drivers out on the roadways of America.

Sincerely, beloved, my heart’s desire is to please my Master, and yet I wrestle daily with my own humanity.  I am NOT a perfect disciple.  I know the requirements, and like every other Disciple, I strive toward the upward call of Messiah moment-by-moment.

Elohim is a great many things, dear friend, but compared to what this world believes, Elohim is much more.  Our joy, as Disciples of Yehoshua, is to share His love, for His glory!  The primary proofs of Discipleship are found, therefore, in our love for one another, in our love for His creation, and in His discipline in our lives.  Search His Word, and you will confirm this truth!

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Discipleship Assurances

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective – The third factor in our outline of a PRAISER are the Assurances:

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Assurances “Let your manner be without covetousness, content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you’, so that we can boldly say, ‘Yehoshua is for me; I will not fear; what can man do to me'”  (Hebrews 13:5-6 ENB)?
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Assurances “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it will be done for you.  In this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so shall you be My disciples” (John 15:7-8 ENB).
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Assurances “For the eyes of YEHOWAH run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9 ENB).
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Assurances “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 ENB).

In the first two passages quoted as assurances, we are given what at first glance might be considered a contradiction.  On one hand we are told to be content, while on the other, we are instructed to ask for whatever we want.

These verses are frequently quoted out of context and used to mislead the undisciplined. The positive thinking guru’s of our age want us to believe we need only think happy, peppy, perky, positive thoughts, and whatever we seek or desire will be given us.

This is a lie!

The false teaching of the positive thinkers is clearly addressed elsewhere, where Elohim said, “You ask and receive not, because you ask badly; so that you may consume it upon your lusts.  You adulterers and adulteresses, do you know not that friendship with the world is enmity with Elohim” (James 4:3 ENB)?

The John 15 passage clearly teaches that asking must be linked to the glorification of Elohim, in the witness of His Son and His Kingdom, and in the proving of Discipleship.  A true Disciple is not merely seeking personal gain, but asks in accordance with the will of Elohim, for the fulfillment of a need to the ministry.

The assurances given in the verse from Hebrews relates to our own personal circumstances, because while we may not have all we want, we will always have what we need.

Personalized Assurances; More Examples:

We received fulfillment to our request for a home, because we were sincere in our desire to use that home for ministry.  We also wanted to be wise stewards.  As Disciples, we need to be content in whatever situation we find ourselves, knowing that Elohim is in control.  Is this easy? NOT AT ALL!

The assurances we are given, however, are that Elohim will be a Helper to those whose heart is His, and that He will always be with us.

Assurances  I could go on at this point, telling how He is present, willing and able to come to our aid.
Assurances  Hours could be spent telling of events in which He taught me something I was striving to understand.
Assurances  Or how He responded one day as I was driving a rural road, crying for reassurance, because of the battle I was involved in, when a balloon bearing the message, “I LOVE YOU,” hovered in the path of my car.
Assurances  I could talk of spiritual, financial and physical miracles in and through my life, and in the lives of countless brothers and sisters, but I will not.

The assurances given to His Disciples are awesome, and we must remember, “If Elohim is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not with Him also freely give us all things (Romans 8:31-32 ENB)?”

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Discipleship Instructions

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective – Our fourth PRAISER item for disciples, are the Instructions:

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Instructions “All Scripture is inspired by Elohim, and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the people of Elohim may be perfect, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ENB).
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Instructions “Your words were found, and I did eat them; and Your word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart, for I am called by Your Name, O YEHOWAH, Elohim of hosts” (Yeremiyeh 15:16 ENB).
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Instructions “But the anointing that you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true, and is not a lie; and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him” (1 John 2:27 ENB).
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Instructions “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to think anything as coming from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from Elohim, Who also made us able servants of the new covenant, not of the letter, but of The Spirit; for the letter kills, but The Holy Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:5-6 ENB).

The Basics of Scripture:

The Bible contains the revelation of Elohim to humanity.  It teaches about our relationship to and with Him, and about our relationship to the rest of mankind, and our environment.

Within the pages of His revealed Word He has presented us with everything He knew that we needed to know pertaining to Him, pertaining to ourselves and pertaining to the cosmos.

His Word is not a complete revelation of all things, because He allows for our growth, and for the investigation of His creation.  But, He has told us what pleases and displeases Him, as well as what He desires from us.

Furthermore, we have been told what to expect if we abide in Him, and also what to expect if we abide outside of His will.  We are given judicial, environmental, historical and spiritual information, as well as the data necessary to live a magnificent and Elohim magnifying life here on earth – if we choose to listen.

Primarily, therefore, we can easily say that, The Bible teaches Yehoshua from Genesis to Revelation; Yehoshua, Messiah, Redeemer, Head and Provider; Yehoshua, Master and Elohim; Yehoshua, Creator, Glory, Majesty, Power, Dominion and Might!

We must stop ignoring Elohim’s revelations.

So, how do we learn from Scripture?

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective -Instructions  Our instructions are in the pages of the Bible, but let me tell you how this works:
Instructions  If you read the Bible from cover to cover you will glean an understanding of some few things.
Instructions  As you reopen your Bible and read His Word a second time, the gleaning increases.
Instructions  Subsequent voyages through Elohim’s Word accumulate data in an almost geometric progression.

This is the brick building process we discussed earlier.  The cornerstone and foundation of our understanding, however, must be perfectly set, or everything that follows is out of square.  The cornerstone of understanding Scripture is Yehoshua.  He is The Cornerstone of our Faith.

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective -Instructions  Once Yehoshua is properly in place in your heart, the construction of the building –YOU, His Ekklesia, begins.  The Holy Spirit will also be in place in your life,
Instructions  Ensuring that the construction proceeds one trowel of mortar and one brick at a time      Instructions  Ensuring that everything remains square.

That is how the Word of Elohim works in our life, and that is how we grow in our knowledge of Him and His truth.

An easy test to the principle of building blocks is to read one of the Books of the Bible – daily – for a week.  Seven passes through the same book, reading the entire book every day. Try it with the Book of Hebrews.

I assure you, beloved, the seventh reading at the end of the week, will reveal facts missed on the first six passes.  Our instructions are in His Word, and we need to search for them as if for gold.

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Discipleship Signs

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective – Our fifth PRAISER consideration of discipleship, are the Signs:

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Discipleship Signs “By this all mankind will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35 ENB).
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Discipleship Signs “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32 ENB).
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Discipleship Signs “If you are without discipline, of which all are partakers, then you are bastards, and not children” (Hebrews 12:8 ENB).
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Discipleship Signs “Amen, amen, I say to you, those who believe in Me, the works that I do shall they do also; and greater works than these shall they do; because I go to My Father” (John 14:12 ENB).

Although the command has been issued to, “Love your enemies and bless those who curse you” (Matthew 5:44 ENB), the command given to love one another in John 13:35 is different.

In John 13, Yehoshua is speaking about love of the brethren; about loving those who believe and labor for Him, as we do.  The bond between members of the same body is special, and we who are the EKKLESIA are one body in Messiah.

We are cleansed and forgiven, by and through His Blood, and we are freely loved.  Therefore, we are free to love one another.  The manner in which we esteem the brethren, therefore, is a sign of our discipleship to the world, because it is unique.

And, according to Scripture, the world will see Yehoshua through us, as they witness our love for one another…  That is an awesome Truth!

Additionally, truthfulness must always be present in the life of a Disciple of Yehoshua.    The world is spinning headlong into the pits of depravity, but the child of Elohim must maintain His truthful witness.

The light cannot be hidden, nor can it be blurred by the sin of deceit or lies.

It is amazing how, whenever the faithful assemble, testimonies flow about the discipline realized at the hand of our Master.  I have never met a brother or sister in Yehoshua, who has not received instruction and discipline, at the hand of our Messiah, and who then has not been used for the furtherance of His kingdom.

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective -Signs  Of necessity, therefore, the final item in the Sign area for the PRAISER, deals with the matter of works.

Satan has thoroughly distorted theology and religion in the institutions of Babylon regarding works and deeds, which deal with our life purpose.  And because of those false teachings percolating throughout Babylon, people are either working for their salvation, or sitting in their pews waiting for someone else to do their job for them.

In the delusions presented by Satan, many souls honestly believe that their faith is a personal thing not to be shared, or they have been persuaded that personal salvation is gained only through the sharing.  We must realize one thing though, because lacking this realization, our pride will certainly interfere with our work.  The reality we must know is:

We can contribute absolutely nothing to what Yehoshua
has already done for us on the cross!

No work, no deed, no word uttered or prayer prayed,
will ever add to His already perfect sacrifice.

While Elohim has work for us to do, Faith + 0 = Salvation!

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective -Signs  I pray that the eyes of the EKKLESIA would be opened to the harvest, and that we would really see the absolute pain, suffering, agony and death surrounding us.
Signs  We have received grace and mercy from Elohim, and we have learned about the water of life.
Signs  We have found freedom, liberty and abundance through Yehoshua, but if this is so, how can we so flippantly deny this deliverance to those who are dying about us?
Signs  The task confronting us is immense, difficult, marvelously fulfilling and tremendously rewarding, but we are told, “For we are His workmanship, created in Messiah Yehoshua for good works, which Elohim prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10 ENB).

Some time soon I will write again on this issue of works.  For now though, please know that Elohim has plans for you, and that if you permit, He wants to use you in His work.

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Discipleship Expenses

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective – Number six on our PRAISER list, is the Expense of discipleship

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Expense “If anyone will come after Me, let them deny themselves, and take up their cross and follow Me. For whoever desires to save their life will lose it; but whoever will lose their life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25 ENB).
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Expense “Blessed are you when people defame you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12 ENB).
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Expense “So likewise, whoever there is of you that does not forsake all that they have; they cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33 ENB).

In his letter to the Galatians, Paul said, “I am crucified with Messiah; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Messiah lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of Elohim, who loves me and gave Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20 ENB).

In speaking of the loss of his worldly possessions, Paul added that he would, “Count them but dung so that I may gain Messiah” (Philippians 3:8 ENB).

We must all adopt this attitude (expanded upon in Luke 12:33 and 18:18-30), but at the same time, we need also acknowledge that many faithful brethren have been permitted to accumulate vast wealth in order to serve Elohim with that wealth.  We cannot be jealous nor zealous regarding these matters, but all things are summed up in Faith.

Furthermore, in understanding true humility, a Disciple will learn to relate to Yehanan the Baptizer (John the Baptist) when he said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30 ENB).

Refer back to our letter on humility, if you will, because you will see that every Disciple of Yehoshua ultimately comes to know that we have died in Him when we accept Him as Messiah and Master.  Our death comes daily as we strive, in The Holy Spirit, to set aside our ambitions and goals, and institute His will for us.  While we are born-again the moment we accept His sacrifice for our sins, we grow unto Him in a procession of surrendering’s.  Humility is displayed in the fullness of our surrendering.

Please keep our past letters in mind also, dear friend, because I attempted to set a solid foundation for the discipleship process within those notes.  And within those letters I emphatically stated that not all are gifted the same.  Each of us is given different talents and abilities.

And, we also discussed the fact that Elohim will never test us beyond what we are able to endure.

The matters I am presenting to you today will be stressful to many, because being a PRAISER is not simple.  The fact of these matters though, is that SOME may never be asked to surrender much of anything, while OTHERS may be asked to surrender all.  Elohim knows our hearts, and Elohim will NEVER ask us to do anything that we are unable to endure.

The Mastership of Yehoshua:

These matters all fall under the banner of the Mastership of Yehoshua, and it is His Mastership that is the primary factor missing in most Bible studies and discipleship training today.

It almost appears that His suffering on our behalf is acceptable, while submission to His Dominion is to be rejected.  He suffered for us, but to many, it is unimaginable to even consider that He might expect us to suffer in any way, shape, or form – for His glory, honor and praise…  How conceited and self-centered fallen humanity is!

Inasmuch as He is our Master though, preparation must be made in our hearts, minds and souls to submit our will, our belongings, our ambitions and our plans unto Him – should He require those things from us.  He is our Master, and He may have works prepared for us that are truly unique, and that truly require sacrifice on our part.

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Discipleship Rewards

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective – Finally, the PRAISER should glance at a sample of the Rewards:

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Rewards “If you would seek El in the morning, and make your supplication to the Almighty; if you are pure and upright, surely now He would awake for you, and make the habitation of your righteousness prosper. Though your beginning was small, yet your end will increase greatly” (Job 8:5-7 ENB).
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Rewards “Those who have My commandments and keep them, those are they who love Me; and those who love Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love them, and will disclose Myself to them” (John 14:21 ENB).
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Rewards “To those who overcome, I will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of Elohim” (Revelation 2:7 ENB).
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Rewards “Those that overcome will not be hurt by the second death” (Revelation 2:11 ENB).
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Rewards “To those that overcome, I will give to eat some of the hidden manna, and will give them a white stone, and in the new stone a new name written, which nobody knows except the one who receives it” (Revelation 2:17 ENB).
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Rewards “And those who overcome, and keep My deeds until the end, to them will I give power over the nations; And they will rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to pieces; even as I received from My Father; and I will give them the morning star” (Revelation 2:26-28 ENB).
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Rewards “Those who overcome will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not blot out their name from the book of life, but I will confess their names before My Father, and before His angels” (Revelation 3:5 ENB).
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Rewards “Those who overcome, I will make a pillar in the temple of My El, and they will go out from it no more; and I will write upon them the name of My El, and the name of the city of My El, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My Elohim, and My new name” (Revelation 3:12 ENB).
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Rewards “Those who overcome, I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21 ENB).
Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Rewards “And this is life eternal, that they may know You, the only true El, and Yehoshua ha Mashiach Whom You have sent” (John 17:3 ENB).

Elohim desires us!  Elohim wishes to bestow more upon us than we could ever imagine.

Thousands of promises are given to us in His Word, regarding our present and eternal lives, but we need to remember that only by His grace can we know and believe upon Yehoshua as our Master and Messiah.  So, by His grace we see, and by His grace we receive, and by His grace we find forgiveness.

What our Heavenly Father is offering humanity, through His Messiah, is the fullness of His kingdom – in exchange for our love and faithful obedience!

In Yehoshua, our Heavenly Father is offering us life beyond our wildest imaginings!

While Elohim deserves our devotion, without Him having to pay further for that devotion, He nevertheless paid the ultimate price for us.  And, while we do not deserve a morsel from His table, He nevertheless is offering us everything within His kingdom – freely.

In exchange for unspeakable Treasures and abounding Life, He simply requests our faith and obedience!

Another view of Satan:

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective -View of Satan  In Isaiyeh 14:12-17, and in Ezekiel 28:11-19, a snapshot is given to us of Satan.
Satan  We are told of the splendor, majesty and power that were given to him by Elohim.
Satan  Satan was freely given everything a soul could ever imagine or desire, including tremendous beauty.
Satan  And yet, Satan wanted more!  He wanted more, but he never understood the responsibility or price of the power, authority and majesty that he sought, or the humility required of a truly great ruler.

In our sinful state, Elohim is teaching us what we need to know to inherit His kingdom, and in humility, His PRAISERS will inherit the kingdom of Elohim.

I Sincerely pray that this simple acronym might make it easier for you to keep in mind such a wonderful series of passages and teachings.  I look forward to reading your thoughts and requests in your next letter.  In the interim,

I remain faithfully your brother in Yehoshua our Messiah,

larryv

Letter 11: Discipleship, Our Objective - Concordance

Letter 11 Topical Concordance:

Baptism:
New Covenant: Matthew 3:11-17, 28:18-20; Mark 1:4,5, 16:15-18; Luke 3:16, 12:50; John 1:29-33, 3:5, 3:22-23, 4:2, 16:7-15; Acts 1:4-8, 2:37-41, 8:12, 8:36-38, 9:17-18, 10:47-48, 13:23-24, 16:13-15, 16:31-33, 18:8, 19:1-7, 22:16; 1 Corinthians 1:10-17, 12:13, 15:29; Galatians 3:27, Ephesians 4:4-6; Colossians 2:9-12; 1 Peter 3:21-22.

Discipleship:
Old Covenant: Deuteronomy 31:6; 2 Chronicles 15:2, 16:9; Ezra 7:10; Job 8:5-7, 11:13-19, 22:21-30; Psalms 119; Proverbs (all); Ecclesiastes 1:18; Isaiyeh 14:12-17; 50-51, 55:8; Yeremiyeh 15:16; 17:5-8; Ezra 28:11-19; Zephaniyeh 2:3.

New Covenant: Matthew 5:11-12; 8:18-27, 10:24-42, 13:52, 16:24-26, 28:18-20; Mark 8:34-38; Luke 6:40, 10:1-20, 12:33, 14:26-35, 18:18-30; John 3:3,5,30, 8:31-32, 13:5-17, 13:31-35, 14:12-27, 15, 16, 17; Acts 7:2-53; 8:5-40, 11:26, 13:52, 14:9-19, 18:9-10, 28:22; Romans 8:31-32; 2 Corinthians 3:5-6, 10:3-4; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 2:10, 4:15, 6:12; Philippians 3:8-11; 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21; Timothy 2:24-26, 3:16-17; Hebrews 12:8, 13:5-6; James 4:3-4; 1 John 2:27, 3:9-11, 4:1; Revelation 2:7,11,17,26-28, 3:3,12,21, 5:14, 12:11, 14:9-16, 18:4.

Fear:
Old Covenant: Psalms 27:1-3, 46 (all), 56 (all); Isaiyeh 8:12-13, 41:1-16, 43:1-7, 54:4-17; Ezekiel 2:1-7.

New Covenant: Matthew 10:28-33; Mark 13:7; John 14:27.

Patience – of the Disciple:
Old Covenant: Genesis 16 (all), 17:15-21, 18:1-15, 21:1-7; Psalms 37.

New Covenant: Acts 24:27; Romans 5:3-5, 12:12; Colossians 1:9-12, 3:12; 1 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; James 5:7-12.

Peace:
Old Covenant: Exodus 14:14; Numbers 6:24-26.

New Covenant: Mark 9:49-50; John 14:27; Romans 12:17-18; Ephesians 4:1-3; Philippians 4:6-7; Colossians 3:15; Hebrews 12:14; 2 Peter 1:2.

YEHOSHUA, Deity:
Old Covenant: Psalms 2:12, 23 (all), 78 (all), 99 (all), 100 (all); Micyeh 7:7-20.

New Covenant: Matthew 9:2-7, 11:27-30, 16:13-17, 22:41-45, 26:63-66; Mark 2:5-11, 5:19, 14:61-62, 15:2; Luke 1:26-38, 8:26-39, 22:66-70; John 3:16-21; 4:25-26, 5:37, 6 (all), 8 (all), 10 (all), 11:25-26, 12:44-50, 13:12-20, 14:6, 14:9-11, 15 (all), 17:6; Acts 2:36; Romans 1:4; Colossians 1:13-20, 2:9; Hebrews 1:3-9, 3:6, 4:14, 5:8-10, 13:8; 1 Peter 1:18-21; 1 John 2:22-23, 4:2-3, 4:15, 5:1; Revelation (all), see: 1:4-8, a:17-18, 22:12-16.

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