Typhoon Yolanda victims.

Currently working with many of the victims of Typhoon Yolanda who are living in homes like this picture.

Due to many relief efforts coming in to Tacloban, circumstances changing from day to day and many reports of people not being truthful with their needs, we decided to make another assessment trip in person before making any purchases. Along the way waiting at the port in Surigao we teamed up with some others and delivered for them over two hundred sheets of tin on this trip who had no way to transport until they saw us with an empty van. We readily agreed to do this after discovering we would always be shuffled behind relief trucks if empty and could be waiting for many hours to catch a barge.We learned on the trip that sure enough we would have made a mistake by purchasing things like food, water, etc. since so much is already being delivered around Tacloban. Also as we were coming into the area, we noticed a huge sign that read “All relief goods must be delivered to the office of the governor.” The churches we had visited the first time were now loaded with foods, medicines, generators, (no longer a use for the solar panel) clean water, etc. We could only speak with the wife of the pastor because he was out in the community delivering generators.
This other church in La Paz, about 30 miles outside of Tacloban had experienced total destruction and devastation to church building and most all church members and had not yet received even as much as a bag of rice from any relief effort including from the government. They were somehow managing quite well however, fed us good with chicken roasted on open fire and gave us a place to sleep for the night.
During this entire 5 day trip, I only spent about $75 for personal expenses.
The greatest needs requests at this time we were getting from most every conversation is the need for a chainsaw. Coconut trees are down all over the place. Some are being sold for lumber and some are being given away. But anyone who owns a chainsaw is backed up with work and is also charging a high price for the labor. Two churches including the one in La Paz and pastor Noe’s church are both in great need of a chainsaw and have people in their church who are trained in operating the saw for splitting the trees into lumber for buildings. We didn’t buy the saws in Tacloban due to high demand and high prices. We can buy them here in Butuan for normal price and deliver there. This is our plan now to get two or three saws back there as quickly as possible.
Also as far as other things like sustainability may be a little too quick as they don’t even have homes rebuilt yet. Some of them including the family who lost a father and brother from the Palo church are being forced to relocate (to who knows where yet) by the government. I gave them my word with tears that by God’s grace we would see them through with this.
We want to get them going with aqua-phonics as soon as possible. We have already located free Talapia fish fingerlings in Tacloban. Seeds for planting and things like that are also one of the top priorities.

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Our Pinoy Paisanos: 16 Ways You Can Help The Philippines

Originally posted on I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts:

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Anyone who has ever worked on ships has, without a doubt, worked with dozens of Filipinos. They are our co-workers, our friends and our family.

Over the weekend our ship life paisanos were faced the devastating destruction of their home. One of the strongest storms in recorded history, Typhoon Haiyan, killed an estimated 10,000 people. To put that number into perspective combine the casualties from Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy and 9/11… and double it.

Between managers, A/V crew and random friendly faces in the staff bar, I have a long list of Filipinos who hold a special place in my heart. So as I watched the death toll climb as Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the islands, I held my breath and prayed for my friends.

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I have sent messages to some and not heard back from any. So what can I do to help while I wait to hear from…

View original 479 more words

Jessica’s Story

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Jessica, I started to know her as LESBIAN living in an orphanage we call LINGAP CENTER IN CSWD (City Social Welfare and Development Office) Butuan City , Philippines. She looked like a guy, I continued observing her when I was assigned to the CSWD office , in the PWD (Person with Disabilities) division last July, 2012. My first meeting with her, she was running errands in the office, Mam Alesa instructed her to load 100php on her globe number. Jessica had left at 9am and until 2pm came no load received by Mam Esther. Another child was then asked to find Jessica, coz they’re doubting that Jessica divert the money, until it turns out that the LOADER STATION had a mistake of the number loaded. From this observation , I start to observe Jessica from the office. Until one day Mam Fairly approached me and said, if I like, Jessica can share a home with me. I had a mixed emotion that time because handling like this is not that easy, but when Mam Fairly talked to me, I just don’t know. My heart wanted to help this girl Jessica. Even though I have 4 children but all boys, I decided to take care of  Jessica as my little girl. So, I agreed to share a home at least for 6 months. Mam Fairly trusts me a lot, even if I don’t have that much money to give Jessica for all her needs, but to give her and let her understand about family and her life to live good. Now, when everybody knows about this, one social worker talked to me and informed me that Jessica is: STEALING, WILD, VERY UNSOCIAL, DONT EAT ORDINARY FOOD , KEEPS COMPLAINING, ALWAYS GOING OUT, and NO IDENTITY. Where she came from MIGHT BE SICKLY and my children might be harmed. As I listened, I wanted to give up, but when I saw Jessica I felt pity on her instead of listening to negative comments about Jessica’s story, I talked to Jessica about all this why all this happen and she openly tell me what she wanted. I am touched because SHE WANTED TO FINISH SCHOOL TO FIND HER FAMILY. I really don’t know what to do, because my financial condition is not that stable for her to extend a help for school, until God give blessing …I MET GARY AND LYN HAWKINS, I share to them Jessica ‘s story and they help me to find a solution for Jessica, and now Jessica is enrolled in a standard school(private) STARLAND INTERNATIONAL INC. Here in Butuan City, Philippines. Do you want to know why I’M able to choose private school? Very expensive one ! It’s because I do believe that God will provide the best thing for JESSICA, and besides she is intelligent! At first I am thinking, if I enrolled  Jessica in a public school were 1 teacher is to 60 students in one room what would I expect for Jessica? She was so BROKEN and needs much ATTENTION, with no FEAR ! I enrolled her in a prestigious school and told her story to the School administration Name Jan Delina. I said Jessica will represent an example for all the street children and orphanage for her SUCCESS STORY with the help of STARLAND INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL., and this makes Mam Jan discount Jessica’s tuition 50% off. Instead of paying much for the whole year its only P20,000 pesos ($500) and we will be able to complete her things permitted to pay it soon the balance, like her uniform, books, miscellaneous. What is important that Jessica will start schooling as GRADE 3 (a 14 year old girl) plus consider that the requirement will be provided later like Jessica’s Birth Certificate and Report Card from Grade 1 and 2. I am secretly sad thinking to solve Jessica’s  birth certificate problem because she is totally a STRANGER and we don’t know where she came from. She was just seen in the street near a garbage can of a certain concerned citizen at around the age of one. Until 3 year old she was indorsed to LINGAP CENTER. During her childhood many places she experienced because many wanted to foster Jessica, she came from Dumaguete , around Butuan City with different foster parents with her and she was influenced with a surrounding of lesbians and she get back again to Lingap Center because of her WORST attitude. BUT, IN MY CUSTODY! GOD IS GOOD! ALL THE TIME… Jessica feels love and importance..(you can interview her, this statement from her) I share a tear because she express to me and thank me taking care of her, she do good and not lazy anymore. All  those negative on her past never happen anymore as she’s with me. She start to keep her hair long influenced by me with very girly looks and wanted to copy me. Hahaha. I am so happy after she declared this for her life. She was baptized with Gary and Lyn witnessing this Baptism of Jessica in Buenavista beach also with Kuya Molong. We have a great time together. She’s responsible, I teach her how to cook “PINIRITONG ISDA” fried fish, coz she’s afraid of the oil to touch her skin, always the fish is overcook! Ohhh not yummy…  I keep her trying and trying until she knows how to fry the fish , at first she over cooked the rice. I wanted to retreat because my money was wasted but the lord tells me, worry for the living things not for the non living things. I am able to survive these emotions. Many things I encountered as Jessica’s negative attitude turned into a positive one. We had time together and our relationship as mother and child grow. Until one day were apart because I was accused of illegal keeping her with me. I needed to have all those requirement of the DSWD before I’m able to let Jessica stay with me. Now, Jessica has returned to Lingap Center, the first week of getting back this all happen; SHE CUT HER LONG HAIR, WILD IN THE CENTER KEEP QUARRELING WITH THE OTHER CHILDREN, GO BACK ON HER OLD SELF. I visited her after the Worker informed me of all this and talked to Jessica, she really got angry with me. She don’t want to go to school anymore, I talked to her about all the things why this happened. Thank God she understood and is waiting after all those requirements, SHE WILL GET BACK TO ME, now I keep monitoring all she needs, she will visit me at home for her assignments and all she needs in school. This time I am busy complying all those requirements for DSWD , and birth certificate of Jessica. I am in need of support on her school. I trust the lord that Jessica will be blessed to finish her school. For she said repeatedly: I WILL FINISH SCHOOL TO FIND MY FAMILY. I don’t want her to be disappointed on her dream. She likes to be an ARTCHITECH and said to me, ate I will build a house for you. (ohh so touch when she told me this) , 2nd I will help those kids in the Lingap and on the street. This girl really has the heart to serve her GOD. That’s why I’m able to contact kuya Gary Hawkins and Lyn . How would I address all this need for Jessica ‘s SUCCESS STORY?

 

“ WORRYING DOESN’T CHANGE ANYTHING, BUT TRUSTING THE LORD CHANGES EVERYTHING. WHEN WE PUT OUR CARE IN GODS HANDS. HE PUTS HIS PEACE IN OUR HEARTS”

 

( everybody can interview Jessica for all her testimonies… UNTIL the next episode! ) here the picture before and after… see attached.

 

Written : MARNILLE ZOILO-GABAGAT

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Danica (3)

Danica distorted (2)

Danica distorted

Danica distorted (3)

Jessica and other names in this story have been changed and he photos distorted to protect identities.

Baptizing inmates

God truly works in amazing ways. When I was in the United States, I would sometimes go preach in the jails because that’s where I have been myself more than a few times and that’s where God has taught me how to better prick the hearts of men by God’s word as happened to me in the jail.
When I moved here to the Philippines, the jails were still on my heart and in my prayers, but I figured since I am a foreigner here, there’s no way I will ever get access to the jails unless of course I get locked up myself. But nothing can stand in the way of where God directs you.
This weekend was very amazing. First of all we had a gathering in the local police department of different Christian officials to pray for the leading of the Holy Spirit over some issues in the city. That was a pretty amazing experience, but a different topic here. Later, a few of us including Lyn and me were invited to preach in the jail by the police chief and his deputy. You must provide chaplains license and other requirements to do that here, that is unless God is directing you, then it doesn’t even matter if you’re a citizen of a foreign country and have absolutely no credentials to show.
So we went to the pretrial inmates where there was 6 men and one woman who was one of the men’s wife.
We preached and taught them for a few minutes. With the aid of an interpreter I told them that I understand their sorrows and heartaches because I’ve been where they are before. Then I asked one of them there to stand up and read from Isaiah 61 in the Bisayan language. That’s where Jesus started preaching to them and pricked their hearts. We explained to them and got them to understand and agree that they were dead in their sins and that their sins killed Jesus on the cross 2,000 years ago, but that he paid the price and died in their place because of His love for them. And we explained that they too must die of the old flesh before they can be born again and raised up with Jesus and have a new life.
We also explained the meaning of being born again, briefly going through some of the scriptures. We also explained to them the nature of the Holy Spirit and that they must be born of the Holy Spirit and of water.
After that, all 6 of the men with humbled and sorrow repentful faces decided right then that they wanted to be buried in their sins and rise again to a new life. We had a plastic trash can there already for the use of baptisms, so there we baptized all 6 men.
Lyn and I wrote down all of the names and contact info so that we can follow up with our new brothers. Also, yesterday which was the next day, we followed up with them early in the morning. Every one of them gave testimony of the unexplainable peace they had received. One man said that he slept better that night than he’d slept in many years and told us of many comforting things the Lord had spoken to him. The others testified to similar things. This confirmed to us that they’d received the Holy Spirit and are our true brothers and children in the Lord.

Understanding “The Great Commission”

My understanding of being a disciple and making disciples of Jesus Christ has been changed after I meet this man named Molong Nacua http://molongnacua.wordpress.com/ from Cebu. I believe he is the answer of my long time prayer of how to be and to make a disciple of Jesus. I study the Bible for 10 years through Bible studies, attend different institutional church events and go to church every Sunday. I’m getting tired. In spite of that honestly, I don’t remember I bring even one soul to Jesus to be His disciple. I don’t have spiritual parents like in Ephesians 6:1 parents in the Lord. I know Matthew 28:19-20 which is the reason why I am here on earth. But what I learned in the institutional church is this: Matthew 28:20-And teaching them to obey everything I commanded you …and then verse 19, baptized them. Before you get buried through baptism of the water you need to go to the church building every Sunday and do Bible study of a lesson for the baptism of the water. But, now when I realized and I believe it’s the Holy Spirit speak to me that how can a spiritually dead man understand the Bible?. Only the Holy Spirit can let us understand what the Bible says.

I accept I am one of the reason why Jesus didn’t come yet lol..because I get stuck in the religious teaching..and DON’T do my real calling, funny but it’s true.

My problem is I don’t know how to start in making disciples because first of all me myself is not disciple of Jesus, only a church member. Jesus commanded to go into all the world and make disciples, not church members. Making a disciple is something simple and quick.

Before I truly understand my real calling (Matthew 28:19-20) and (Romans 6:1-4) I got baptized two times, lol.

Lyn

Making Church Members or Disciples?

Then Jesus came to them and said, “I delegate my authority to you as apostles and to others as pastors and evangelists. Therefore go and make church members of all denominations, asking them to invite me to be their personal Lord and Savior by repeating a sinner’s prayer, and teaching them to keep faithful to the weekly gatherings. And surely you will see me again at the judgment.”

Ha ha.
Is that what he said?
But it seems to be what many get out of it somehow.

Let’s slow down and go over what our Lord is saying here a little more carefully and let his words sink a little deeper for a minute.

Matthew 28:18-20
New International Version (NIV)
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

First of all, He establishes his authority over everything in the entire Universe. I guess we could safely say that would include how we do church. This authority is over all, which would include the preacher, Sunday school teacher, you and me.
One very big problem that has plagued the entire world is men following men rather than following Jesus. This has led to some 40,000 different Christian denominations all divided against one another with each one claiming to have some corner of truth that sets them above all the others.
How sad of a state has His church become now after 2,000 years?

What exactly is a denomination? (domain>denominator>divider/ A Christian denomination is an identifiable religious body under a common name, structure, and doctrine within Christianity. In the Orthodox tradition, churches are divided often along ethnic and linguistic lines, into separate churches and traditions. Technically, divisions between one group and another are defined by doctrine and church authority. Issues such as the nature of Jesus, the authority of apostolic succession, eschatology, and papal primacy separate one denomination from another.)
What did Jesus say about this kind of thing?

John 17:20-23
New International Version (NIV)¬
Jesus Prays for All Believers
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
I don’t know about you, but when I read this, I get these red flag signals that run all up and down my spine. SOMETHING’S WRONG, SOMETHING’S WRONG! At the same time, I feel the Lord’s heart aching over how his church has disgraced him by being divided against one another and can’t even express loving their own brothers and sisters as themselves, much less loving their neighbors or enemies.

Contrary to what many of us have been taught, a denomination is really not an arm, leg or other part of the body working in perfect harmony with the other parts. As a matter of fact, most every one of them have absolutely no association with any of the others and have signs out in front of their establishments making sure all passersby know that they are denominated/divided from the rest of the body of Christ. Some may be thinking that He don’t really care to much about this, but is that true? Does that please Jesus? Is that really what he intended for his church? That’s hard for me to imagine considering the prayer that he prayed.
When Jesus (God) prayed to the Father (God) about this, I believe he meant for it to happen, don’t you?

How do we avoid falling into this division of His Body and dishonoring Him? How do we know which one of them, if any, who or what is right? Do I have some superior knowledge or am I more intelligent than anyone else that I can make a better judgment as to which one is right out of the some 40,000 of them? The answer is no! I don’t and you don’t either. What makes us think that our thinking is superior to another one of God’s children?
Let God be true and every man a liar. All of the denominations who believe that they have hold of some corner of truth which sets them above the rest have actually dishonored God simply by denominating/dividing the body of Christ. Now let’s get back to the question. How do we avoid falling into this and without becoming the founder and pastor of yet another division. The answer is very simple. We listen to Jesus. We must be in tune with Him rather than men. In order to really listen to Jesus, you must really believe in Jesus.

What does Jesus say?

John 14:15-21
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit
“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
Well, was he telling the truth or not?

Jesus is telling the truth. He’s no liar. What He says is true. Truth does not divide itself. The Holy Spirit doesn’t oppose Himself. Truth is truth and will never be anything else. What’s true will be true until the end of time.
One obvious bit of truth that I get here from Jesus is that we have a major problem with 40,000 different denominations (divisions) all claiming to have truth but opposing all the others in some way because they think they have a bit more truth than the rest of them. How do we know truth?

What else does he say?

Matthew 7:7-11
New International Version (NIV)
Ask, Seek, Knock
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
Can we believe this? If we can’t, then we might as well just throw our Bible in the trash because it’s no good to us and we can’t believe anything else Jesus ever said. Maybe the preacher has something more believable, huh?
You know, the largest of all denominations teaches its members that the those ruling over the institution have authority over scripture, so they’re actually told to not read their Bible.

What Jesus is saying in the great commission is this: All authority in heaven and earth has been given to him and he will lead you in the right direction on his own if you will listen to him and no one else. Give no ultimate authority to any other, contrary to what another might want to tell you. Don’t give it to a denomination/divider and don’t give it to a man who resides over one of them acting as head. Elders (older wiser, more mature) can help you and encourage you but Jesus is the head of his own body and needs no another head to tell his hands or feet what to do. Do you believe this? Do you really believe that Jesus can speak to you just as powerfully as he can speak to someone else who may have a theology degree, or to someone who looks a little more cleaned up than you on Sunday mornings?
It is a scary thought for traditional church leaders to trust their flock to really be led by Jesus. I sense that their first thoughts are of complete chaos and disorder and that they would lose control. That might be true to a degree, because if all, I say ALL of his church members suddenly actually did that, the institution might start coming down and the little kingdom would come apart making him feel responsible for this seemingly disaster. The pastor might fear losing his headship. You get me here? He might feel like a failure. But if all, and I say all of them did that, they would wind up joined together in unity under the headship of Jesus. Jesus isn’t divided and His Holy Spirit doesn’t divide itself. He also never agrees to disagree with Himself. Many will divide themselves regardless, even farther from those who are in tune to the Holy Spirit of Jesus. That is another topic, but the ones who do will be joined together in perfect unity under the headship of Christ because Christ is not divided against himself. He even told us that a house divided against itself will never stand. His church is not a denomination with a creed or set of doctrines, but a functioning Body that is alive with pumping blood. It can move about freely as he directs and all parts work in unity with a common direction and purpose. He is not bound to any denomination, institution, a building with a steeple or anywhere else although he’s not banned from those places either.

Do you know who you really are?
1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.”

You and I have the authority from Him to be His ambassadors to the world and act as royal priest of the most powerful kingdom in the universe. If you and I are tuned in to Him alone, we will be in perfect harmony and unity with each other and of God through His Holy Spirit alone. Yes, I know that sounds a little radical and unconventional. Jesus is usually that way. If we’re in tune with him, we will not be denominated/divided, and will be displaying Christ to the world in such a way that the world will know that we are His disciples and we will be making more disciples just in displaying that alone. Jesus can speak to you just as easy as He can anyone else if you will just listen to Him. You can also share the things He has given to you with the rest of the Body or to the world no different from anyone else who might have been qualified by a religious institution of some sort.

This brings us to the next part of the Great Commission: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations”
Let’s stop at the first word. “Therefore”, what is it there for? It is there for you to know that the next statement coming is a result of the statement just spoken to you which means that this next statement which is also a command comes from the most ultimate authority in the universe. Then his next statement comes, “Go and make disciples of all nations”. Did he say to go attend a church of your choice? Denomination of your choice? Sit on a pew and listen to a sermon? Did he say to go and make church members of all nations or to lead them in a sinner’s prayer? No, he said to go and make disciples of all nations. He gave you the authority to do this because you are His royal priest or ambassador to all nations. You as a Christian are a disciple and a disciple makes more disciples.
Some may say that Jesus was only speaking to his apostles here and wasn’t speaking to all believers and that all believers are not necessarily disciples. There’s just a couple of small problems with that theory. If he were only speaking to the apostles, the church would have died out in the first century and the great commission would have been an ultimate failure making Jesus out to be an impostor and a liar. The other thing about a Christian not necessarily being a disciple just doesn’t come from scripture at all. We read in Acts 11:26- “The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” So the word “Christian” is actually only another name given which replaced the word “disciple”.
Yes, he was speaking to you and me, telling us as His disciples to go make disciples. And when we have made a disciple, that disciple must obey Him just as we have done, making further disciples. It’s a daily labor and obligation for anyone who desires to follow Christ. That’s why He says we must die to ourselves if we want to follow him. If we’re going to be a disciple, then our life is finished in Christ. We are dead anyway without Him, so we might as well die now so we can live.
Matthew 6:24 – 27 “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for Me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.”
Sounds to me like anyone who fails to become a disciple of Jesus by hanging on to what they can get out of this life is also forfeiting their soul. You want to take a chance on Him not really meaning that?

Did he say anything about living and looking just like the unbelievers around you except for watching a Sunday morning two hour show performed before a live studio audience? No. I know that’s a nice and cozy little comfort zone but He never told anyone to do anything like that, did He? You won’t find that picture anywhere throughout the entire New Testament either. We have to die to our lives and live for Christ. You live for nothing else except to advance His kingdom. There’s one little problem we all will face when we start to do that. We will be persecuted and the greatest amount of persecution will come from the religious folks who have lost control over our pew sitting and no longer under their headship. Not only them, but also the ones who feel threatened that you may cause others to come out from under their headship.
So this here is what it amounts to dear friend. If you want to go to heaven, you must obey Jesus. If you’re going to obey Jesus, He has called you to be a disciple to the world by making more disciples whether that might be in your own house or on the other side of the planet. (A disciple is usually called a missionary by the institutional churches, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that God has called you to move to another country or even out from your house). You must stop what you’re doing, throw your worldly dreams and ambitions away. Yes, just go ahead and burn them down now so he won’t have to later. Die to yourself so you can live in Jesus Christ. Live for nothing or no one else except Him and go make disciples. He will lead you from there. He never said that you first need to go to college and earn a degree and he didn’t say that you need to have the Bible memorized from front to back. He just simply said, “Go” in the same way he told some fishermen to drop their nets one day.
Now, the next part of the great commission is the instructions on how to make a disciple. It’s nothing the least bit complicated. No theology schools, baptism or lengthy discipleship classes were mentioned here. He already told us that all authority has been given to Him. Let’s just simply do what He said next, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. The word baptism in the Greek actually means to bury under water, submerge, immerse. Let’s please not put up some kind of argument, defense or excuse here on baptism not saving a person. Of course baptism doesn’t save a person, Jesus does as a result of our faith and our obedience displaying our faith, so let’s just obey him, okay? It’s only a little water and we need a good bath every once in a while, so let’s just not fight it, but rather joyfully and eagerly obey Him. Now if we happen to be kind of nailed down in some way like the thief on the cross was, that’s another story, remember that the authority has been given to Jesus, so he can make an exception whenever, if he happens to want to, okay? He knows if we’re wanting to obey Him or not. Hope we got that out of the way.
So how do we make a disciple? We simply baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, with their permission of course which would be a demonstration of their faith by their willingness to obey Him. At that point is where we would want to pray for them to be filled with that Holy Spirit which is the same as the Father and the Son. That is also the point in which they have now become a disciple of Jesus. The disciple has been made. The old person has died and was buried, then a new person was born again out of Spirit and water. This person is now a new creation and has become a royal priest to the nations of the world.
Next part: “and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
What does He command? He said, “Go, and sin no more.” He also commanded the great commission. They are to stop sinning and start making disciples of Jesus. It is our job to encourage and help them to obey Jesus. It is our obligation and duty to love them as we would love any brother or sister, or as we would love ourselves. They become like a child to us that we would train up into maturity in doing good works through a love for God and a love for man. That is a Church and it happens naturally all by itself with Jesus as its Head. It can function in any house or place like under a tree or at your job and is not bound to any location at all. It consist of all the disciples in a city, province, country and world. You have a local (city) church and a global church. Everyone of them from one side of the earth to the other are in unity with one another through the Holy Spirit. This isn’t a belief. This is a fact and my testimony to what I’ve witnessed myself.
We have no obligation to lay down any denominational rules, laws and doctrines or to teach any kind of denominational creed. That’s a bunch of institutional stuff that comes from the schools of theology rather than the headship of Jesus. Just love them and teach them to obey Jesus. Now we have a functional family going on here with elders (older more mature Christians, not an office) and deacons ( servants who minister to the needs of the Body, not an office) operating in love and unity, We are not an institution or a denomination/division of Christ’s body. That would be called a dysfunctional family. We consider all of God’s children our brothers and sisters. We’ve not disowned any of them, not even if they happen to still belong to any particular denomination. We just don’t do the division or institutional part of that, and by that, many are offended.
What we do is build the Lord’s kingdom rather than promote or build some institution that is dividing the Lord’s church. If they’re led by the Holy Spirit and we’re led by the Holy Spirit, then His body will be working in perfect harmony, the church happens by itself because the Lord builds his church. If one or more is not being led by the Holy Spirit, then we have a problem where we need to give the Lord his proper position and authority as head of his body. That’s where we work through continuing to die to ourselves daily becoming more like him. The Holy Spirit will lead us into truth that way, that is if we believe in Him (The Holy Spirit).
If anyone doesn’t believe in Him, then they don’t have Him and are not part of His kingdom in the first place. This person does not belong in the Lord’s church and is a wolf among sheep. When you have a group of disciples together being led by the Holy Spirit, a wolf in sheep skin isn’t very hard to spot.
He gives us all the instructions on this also if we seek Him. Here’s just one of many examples.

Matthew 18:15-20
Dealing With Sin in the Church
“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

This brings me to the last part of the great commission: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” That would be the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ who is God, the ultimate authority over the Universe living with us and literally in us to the very end of the age. So this means that even today, we do not need to put our trust in the teachings of men if Christ is with us to teach us all things through the Holy Spirit. He is as alive today as He ever was. Test Him and see. My prayers are with you. Blessings to you in Jesus.

Gary

These videos I believe are some of the best I’ve seen on how it works.