Notes from Discipleship Class taught by Pastor Don Moore
We are born this time for a set reason.
Romans 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Pastor Don told us that we should look up in Hebrew the definition for salvation.
3444 – phonetic – y-shuw-ah (sounds like Yeshua)!!!!! Something saved, deliverance, hence aid, victory, prosperity, salvation, help, deliverance, save, saving, welfare –
Salvation is more than just preparing for when you die and go to Heaven. Salvation also applies to our life now on earth. Eternal life – starts now, not when you get to Heaven. It deals with wholeness, health, being blessed, happy, complete, delivered, whole, under His protection.
John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Jesus came to give us abundant life, eternal life, salvation, here now and in eternity.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
We won’t perish here, but we will live here in Him until it is time to go on.
Our faith causes us to be righteous in God’s eyes and to do right. We can live the abundant life here and now and also in eternal life.
Someone asked what if someone confesses the Word of God but doesn’t fully believe it, isn’t that a lie?
Faith and lies can’t coexist. If a person keeps confessing the Word of God it leads to faith. Pastor Don said that most people don’t fully realize what they are confessing when they speak these truths, nor do they fully believe the salvation offered them. But the more they repeat the truth of the Word and the more they learn about God the deeper their understanding of salvation grows.
MEMORY VERSE: Isaiah 54:17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the Lord.
Isaiah 54:13-14 (is a good prayer to pray for your children) All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children. In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.
In order to understand our memory verse, Pastor Don wanted us to look at the verse in context. That means to look at the verses before and after to see important questions like who is speaking, whom are they speaking to, what are they speaking about.
So, we looked at Isaiah 54:11-13 “O you afflicted one, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems, and lay your foundations with sapphires. I will make your pinnacles of rubies, your gates of crystal, and all your walls of precious stones. All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.
The people God was speaking to through Isaiah were being oppressed. Oppression was conditioning their fear. They were frightened people and frightened people usually don’t get delivered. The devil oppresses those who are fearful. They need to go to God for deliverance.
Isaiah 54:14 In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.
Believing in God establishes righteousness, and when we are believing in God we don’t need to fear. God can deliver us from terror. He won’t leave us afraid. The more we fill our mind and mouth with Scripture, the less the enemy can manipulate us or control us. If a person is afraid the devil has a legal right to oppress and terrorize.
Isaiah 54:15 Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me. Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake.
Anyone who assembles against the believer will fall. God is not afraid of the enemy.
Isaiah 54:16 “Behold, I have created the blacksmith who blows the coals in the fire, who brings forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the spoiler to destroy.
Nothing is outside of God’s control. Pairing verse 16 with our memory verse:
Isaiah 54:17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the Lord.
When realizing no weapon formed against us can prosper, we see it is because God created the blacksmith that forged the weapon. God also creates the spoiler, an instrument in God’s hand to accomplish His work. The blacksmith makes what God tells him to make.
There are times when things in our lives fall apart, when there is a mess, when the enemy is attacking. Sometimes God permits that to happen because we are not moving to the place where He needs us to be. God might be permitting the spoiler to come into our lives because of our disobedience. The weapon will do its work, but not prosper because God created it not to prosper against us. God will use whatever He needs to use to help us grow the way He knows it’s best for us to grow.
Remember, if you go to a gym, in order to develop muscles you need resistance – lifting feathers won’t build strength, but lifting weights will. God permits the trials and challenges we have to help us build our spiritual muscles.
If God does not permit the destroyer to come up and mess up what you are trusting in (that is not of God), then you will miss out on the blessings of God.
Just like in the book of Job, God permitted satan to do certain things, but God set limits on what satan could do.
A good father will tell their child not to play in the street, and when the child disobeys and almost gets run over, the father is there to comfort and teach the child to obey in the future.
Our Heavenly Father knows what needs to be overlooked, abandoned, or set aside in our lives. If we don’t obey Him and the Holy Spirit, God, our loving Father, will permit the destroyer to come in and remove what is blocking our growth. God will not give us more than we can handle, but He will let the weapon come against us.
If you repent in a heart-felt way, you may be able to avoid the battle. Repenting should be done as soon as possible. If you wait until after the act, you may face repercussions. If you repent before you commit the act, you may be able to avoid a crop failure.
A true disciple might think of a sin, repent about thinking about it, and doesn’t do it. As we grow in Christ, hopefully we will curb our sins before they are committed.
Jesus didn’t sin in thought or deed.
When we learn to discipline our thought life, it helps us to control our soul (the mind, will, and emotions).
Due to our disobedience, God at times will remove His hand of protection and permit the devil to attack. It is our responsibility to stop the attack.
Every time someone rises against you in judgment or attack, we feel we have to defend ourselves. Sometimes it is not necessary to defend yourself. If you are wrong, you may be offended and feel the need to rationalize or defend yourself. But if they are attacking something that you know you’re doing right, there is no need to take offence. The Lord will at some point let the person know that you were in the right.
Jesus was innocent, but he was accused and crucified. He didn’t defend Himself, even though He could have called a legion of angels. Instead, He said, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they do.”
In debates with the Scribes and Pharisees Jesus would sometimes answer their arguments back, always giving them a higher spiritual truth.
Pastor Don had us say: I will not be offended or offensive.
Usually we think bad things are from the enemy, but we need to be careful with that because not everything good that happens to us is from God. Sometimes the enemy uses good things to distract us from God’s plan and purpose.
Our personality and ego should not shape our ministry. Jesus’ personality changed based on what the Holy Spirit told Him to do. With some people He was gentle, with others He sharply criticized what they said and did.
Some people’s personalities overshadow their ministries and it can be detrimental. If you are a boisterous person and you’re ministering to a timid five-year-old child, you could scare the child. With a child you would need to restrain your boisterous nature and be sweet and gentle.
God cannot use you if you always minister the same way. If God wants us to run the football on the ground, we should not be playing a passing game.
At a conference that Pastor Don attended, the Pastor that organized the meeting was wise. There were a hundred pastors and only seven spots for seven powerful pastors to teach. The organizing Pastor allowed the other pastors three-minute slots to speak. Many chose to speak, but not all had a message from God. Some spoke from their egos.
Pastor Don suggested, that while our egos might want to speak, ask ourselves are we speaking because we want to be seen or because God wants me to do it.
He also cautioned us not to criticize a ministry because a pastor acted in his ego in a situation. We all have areas where we miss it, and we wouldn’t want to be judged for a momentary mistake. The same pastor that makes an error in one area could be strong and well developed in another.
If we are discipling someone pray about what you are to say to them when God gives you a clear picture of who and where they are in their spiritual walk. Sometimes He gives us information so we see what is happening in the future. We need to be patient as those we are discipling develop. Use solid judgment when you speak with someone about an issue. Remember that those we work with are being dealt with by God. We can miss what God is doing in their life if we are focusing on things through our blinders. They belong to God and you don’t want to mess them up. If you are dealing with your own ego-based assessments you can make a mistake. You must step out of your personality.
There is a difference between discipleship and mentoring. Discipleship is not about being friends, but to help a person grow spiritually. People who are being mentored choose the one they want to mentor them.
Disciples are followers of Christ. People are to follow us as we follow Christ. Together we build the Kingdom of God. It is a team relationship. A mentor is a trusted advisor, not teaching a person to be a follower of Christ. A life coach can help a person be the best they can be in an area – but the mentee doesn’t follow their mentor around all the time.
To disciple someone means you let them close to you as you live out your life – so they can see how you respond in situations. A simple example is being with Pastor Don at a social event like Hallelujah on the Hudson (a local gathering of worship teams to share music and socialize). An ordinary person would go, sit with friends, listen to music. If you were with Pastor Don you would observe him singing, speaking with people, making sure to greet all people, not just those from our church, helping out in the kitchen, and doing what is necessary to make the function work. As a disciple one could learn from this how to serve.
We need to be clear of where we are with a person – are we discipling them, social friends, mentoring? Who are they in our life?
There are people who will try to befriend you, get close to you, and it may not always be because they want to be discipled for the Kingdom. For example, some people want to get close to Pastor Don because they want a chance to speak in the pulpit, not because God has sent them to Pastor Don to be a disciple.
We are looking to identify those who can multiply disciples.
Discipleship manual pp 8 “Can you identify one who will be greater than you? Greatness is not measured by personality, intelligence, charisma, etc. Jesus was looking for servanthood and commitment. These characteristics can exist even in small people (children). You are calling people to serve – God first and man second…Teach and treat all the same, but when you see a disciple about to come forth then call him forth and get busy. You may never see the harvest, but the Lord is the Harvester and we are to tend the garden.”
Discipleship manual pp 9 “If your theology places limits on God’s power, then God’s power is limited in you, but God is still sovereign and powerful.”
Don’t put limits on God. Trust God. He is sovereign. God can do what you didn’t think He could do. Even if a situation seems hopeless, God is still more powerful than that circumstance. Trust has to be based on experience. God has experienced people more than you. So if God says a person is to be trusted, trust God, no matter what the circumstances seem to indicate. Leave it up to God. Do discipleship with a person God has placed in your path (even if it feels hopeless) until they walk away.
Discipleship manual pp 9 “God has not changed and churches that choose not to multiply are choosing to die. Churches that choose not to believe God’s power have ceased or have been limited and will see spiritual gifts and miracles fade away, and even the greatest miracle will fade also – salvation.
Discipleship manual pp 10 “If Christians refuse to grow up, holding up God’s program and draining your energy, then you must: 1) Pray for them to be removed. 2) Move them out of the way. 3) Replace them quickly. 4) Prepare to ignore their tantrums.
If people are holding up God’s program, if they are drawing energy from where you can use it effectively, then they need to be removed. That being said, it is not just because a person isn’t growing fast enough for you or being a bother that you remove them. The decision to remove a person has to come from God. If you remove them and God is not wanting you to do that, then you are in trouble.
Creative administration is moving a person out of the way in a way that does not alienate them. You are looking for people who are actively seeking God and want to learn to serve.
DISCIPLESHIP IDENTIFICATION IN THE CHURCH.
HUNGER – Discipleship Manual pp 11 – “One of the first signs is you see a hunger and an enthusiasm for the Word and willingness to share the Word. There is a curiosity there. Who has put it there? The Holy Spirit. You see something, some little spark of interest or enthusiasm for the Word of God.”
ACTION Discipleship manual pp 11 “The next thing that happens is there’s action. You can have enthusiasm and not have action. Some people come to church sporadically, they don’t participate fully but talk a good talk. You’ve got to look for the action – participation, questions, and new revelations.”
TEACHEABILITY – Discipleship manual pp 11 “When there is action, you have the key ingredient that will lead to the next thing – which is teachability. They begin to participate, they begin to ask questions. Now, are they teachable? Are they going to seek instruction, retain information and transfer knowledge?”
You determine these things by testing – give the person something to do. If they succeed at it then go to the next thing.
Pastor Don pointed out that sometimes it takes five times asking a person to come to church before they decide to come. These people have been hurt and they play out that hurt on you. If you don’t reject them and still love them even when they reject what you’re sharing with them, after a time they will think, you didn’t reject me, maybe your Jesus won’t reject me.
Pastor Don said that just having knowledge isn’t what makes a disciple. It is more than that. He spoke about Mark 10 where Jesus tells the Scribes and Pharisees that they are bound by traditions like washing hands and dishes the right way, but ignore the important things. Jesus mentions the custom of corban – that a son could give to the Temple all the money that they should have kept aside to take care of their parents, and then feel that they don’t have to take care of their parents in their old age. This was a financial agreement with the Temple. But this practice is not pleasing to God.
Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life – we need to imitate Jesus, not man’s traditions. We need to discern what is of God and what is not of God. What prevents us from having clear discernment is pride. We think we are smarter, wiser, and we can do things the way we think is best. That is doomed to failure.
We come to Christ with need – when Christ heals our need then we should be willing to choose to walk like Christ and be discipled and live a life of servanthood.
God wants true repentance – a 180 degree turn around.
Discipleship Manual p 12
Brother Hagin once said, “If faith was dynamite, some Christians don’t have enough faith to even blow their noses!” Seek to identify potential disciples by these key traits:
- Action – doer
I hope this teaching blessed you. I included a few more passages from the Discipleship Manual than Pastor Don used during the class.
Have a wonderful day.