Are You a "Christian," or a Disciple of Christ?

"Let us tell you who you are."
"Let us tell you who you are."

There is system called Church that has infiltrated society that is based upon the traditions of man. The vast majority of people who associate with man-named buildings call themselves “Christians.” This is a religious label that they give themselves as members of a sect, or a denomination that they give their allegiance to.

“Christians” are indoctrinated to believe a man-made system equates to salvation. They live in a template created by men within a “moral” framework obligated to spend their time and money attending to a special building where salaried officials create "road maps" telling their minions how to live and the direction they should go.

Unfortunately, those within the modern church system do not even know the term Christ gave to all of those who followed and trusted in him. It may come as a surprise, but Yahshua never used the term “Christian” to those who identified with him.

The question is,


If the cast majority claim to follow Christ, then why wouldn't they take the name which Yahshua chose for his followers?


The problem becomes apparent when the masses go to their esteemed clergy instead of Jesus Christ and the Apostles for the source of the concepts pertaining their spiritual reality. When one truly peruses God’s Word, the terms that Jesus used, and didn't use become crystal clear.

Who is your Master?

The fact is, there is clear distinction today between those who are in the Church system who follow the traditions of man, and those who are among the Ekklesia who follow Christ.

The term “disciple(s)” is used over two-hundred plus times in Scripture to describe those who follow Yahshaua. “Believer” is used twelve times and “Christian” is used a mere three times. Now if we really think about these terms for a few minutes, it should not take long to figure out that the vast majority of those who call themselves “Christians” have no problem saying that they “believe” in Christ, but the clincher comes when asking them whether they are students of the Master.

Huh! Yep that’s right. Do the majority of “Christians” actually know what Christ taught in the Word? Although they claim they do, the majority of "Christians" within the Church system reveal by their actions that their pastor is their “Master."

The term “Christian” was never used by Yahshua, or his followers in the New Testament. The fact is that those who follow Christ are known as disciples (mathetes), which can be defined as pupils who learn from their Master.


"Christians" in Church who are led by their "Master"
"Christians" in Church who are led by their "Master"

"Christian"

The three places that the term “Christian” is found in Scripture is used to describe Jesus’ followers by those who were not among the Ekklesia.

And in Antioch THE DISCIPLES WERE FIRST CALLED CHRISTIANS. – Acts 11:26

YOU PERSUADE ME TO BE A CHRISTIAN?” – Acts 26:28

Yet IF ANYONE SUFFERS AS A CHRISTIAN, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. – 1 Peter 4:16

The disciples were first called “Christians,” but this was a term used among non-believers about the disciples. King Agrippa was not a disciple, and Peter used the term coming from derision from people who associated them as such when being persecuted by them. The term “Christian” was used by those who were not part of the body of Christ to identify the ekklesia.

Today, the term “Christian” is a completely meaningless, and all those who ascribe to it create confusion as it as label that can be attached to just about anything. If you put "Christian" before yoga, it is redeemed! If you put it front of the term music, it is redeemed too! "Christian" has become the label of approval that is pinned on something to make it okay and acceptable. These things are all decided by ecclesiastical men for the people.

The stark reality is that a “Christian” is someone who has made a decision to have clergy be their mediator between them and God. They belong to a man-named building called Church and ascribe to the creeds and liturgy of a particular denomination.

In contrast, a disciple of Christ is someone who follows him and is the representative of the Gospel who is prepared to suffer for his names sake. It is a life that is pattered by the example of Yahshua. It is a life of service in the Kingdom of God, NOT the kingdoms of men.

The Modern "Christian"

The typical modern “Christian" will boast in their denominational affiliation selling their particular religious model. They are dependent upon their esteemed professional clergy class to lead them to “God.”

In contrast, the disciples of Christ, who are the ekklesia depend upon their heavenly Father who are led by their elder brother Yahshua into the Kingdom that was given to him. .

The term “Christian” is a label held by many who are not disciples, nor are they followers of Christ who strive to be like him, rather they are institutionalized members who follow the creeds of the religious elite who promote them.

“Christian” is a badge of honor used by men to men; it was never used by Christ, or the Father. Those who describe themselves as “Christian” reveals their hearts and the adjective of their actions. The modern “Christians" are not brethren, disciple, servant, elect, or bond-servants of Christ, but they are a mere label that they pin upon themselves to give themselves a religious gloss to attract others into the doors of the Church system.


The modern "Christian" will ask,

"Are you a Christian?"

"What Church do you go to?"


You see, by the questions they ask reveals to what and whom their allegiance is to.


Those among the ekklesia will ask,

"Are you a disciple of Christ?"

"Tell me about the Kingdom of God."


How the "Christian" answers these questions will reveal their heart and to whom they serve.

Go ye and make disciples of all the nations IN MY NAME, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you. - Matthew 28:19

Matthew 28:19 - Bible Corruption

Disciples

Jesus Christ was the example of creating disciples and by his spirit we can become one too. He does not create the double-minded label called “Christian” who mixes the holy and profane to attain “God.” Jesus is calling sinners to repent, and that includes those who “believe” and call themselves “Christians.” It’s time to throw away the shackles of modern “Christianity” and become a pupil of the Master. This means dying to yourself so that you may live. It means loving Jesus’ ways more than man’s ways by loving God more than anything else. We must worship God in spirit and truth. This means detaching from the celebrity statuses of the ingenerated men who perform upon their pulpits and seek first the Kingdom of God.


So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “IF YOU ABIDE IN MY WORD, YOU ARE TRULY MY DISCIPLES, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:31-32

The essence of what a "Christian" life is about is attending the Good People Club. That's it! That is all there is to test the authenticity of this label.


A "Christian" adheres to an ideology of denominational doctrines imposed by church authorities within the sphere of traditional anticipated conduct.


The sad reality is that essence of Christ cannot be expressed in the bankruptcy of the term "Christian."

You cannot be among the Ekklesia unless you are a disciple who obeys the commandments of God in a life of obedience to him.

In our world today, “Christian,” “disciple” and “believer” are not one and the same. The one who is willing to lose his life for Christ’s sake will give evidence of who they are with a changed life that does not conform to the system of men, but to the Kingdom of God.

Do you consider yourself a "Christian," or a Disciple?

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Comments Appreciated 9 comments

graceinus 22 months ago from those of the Ekklesia

PandN- Another great article. And a good job explaining the difference between a "christian and a disciple. Yet there is a point that I wish to make that is an important issue. At what point does a person change from a disciple to an apostle and can a person be a disciple and an apostle at the same time? I found some very interesting verses that has caused me to ask this question. Please note:

Matthew 10:1-9 (NKJV) which states. 1 And He called His twelve "DISCIPLES" to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits,to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. 2 Now the names of the twelve "APOSTLES" are these: first, Simon who is called Peter, and AAndrewhisbrother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3Pphilip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon, the Cananite,and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.

(Note that Judas Iscariot is named as an APOSTLE)

5 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them saying: " Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as you go, preach, saying; " The Kingdom of heaven is a hand," 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the leper, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received freely give."

The story line continues but the interesting point here three things here. First, Jesus sent these twelve out as APOSTLES not as DISCIPLE . Jesus had given them temporary power and authority that Jesus Himself had. Second, for a short time Judas Iscariot was an apostle preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of heaven and had power to heal the sick and raise the dead based on the mission Jesus sent him on. Third, by receiving these power and Authority from Jesus did this cause the"DISCIPLES" become "APOSTLES" for the mission Jesus sent them on. For a short time these disciples (students) became apostles (teachers).

I find it interesting that this has never been mentioned or the question had not been asked before. This is the kind of interest points that will not be found in churches. The pew warmers are to lazy to study the word of God for themselves.


Rich kelley profile image

Rich kelley 22 months ago from The Ekklesia

Aaron

Very nicely put together article on what should be going on in the Ekklesia. The deception is very large and only a desire to return to His way will work for anyone. A friend of mine recently sent me the below statement which fits nicely with what you have written above. The Holy Spirit works the same everywhere, I'm in Virginia, Mike is in Alabama, and you are where you are but the message is the same. This is what happens when we become one with the Father like Jesus did.

"Between the door and the altar: We turned discipleship into a class or a program. Why? Because we can't take the time to do it the way Christ showed us to. And, in the end we have permanent disciples that never mature, ever sitting under a teacher, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Between the door and the altar, where one size (sermon) fits all." Mike

Your brother in Christ

Rich


Rich kelley profile image

Rich kelley 22 months ago from The Ekklesia

Graceinus

This is by no means an answer but only my thoughts on what seems to be a dilemma. We and they are always disciples of Christ. It is actually a description of whom we are in Jesus and will always be. We may come to a point that we look exactly like Jesus but that doesn’t change the fact we are His disciples. A student is never greater than his master.

The Apostle on the other hand is something the disciples did. A teacher is something we do. Plant a church is something Paul did. The shepherd is something one may do in the body to build it up and look after. We the body may send out some to do what the apostles did and while they are out there they would be doing what biblical apostles did, they are still disciples of Christ.

It is only the institutional church that wants to get hung up on titles before the name. I believe that those that are part of the Ekklesia will at one time or another function in any or all the spiritual gifts to the body. We may not go out in a group of 70 to later be documented for future believers to read and model behavior after but none the less we could be doing what an apostle does as disciples of Christ.

A comments made by you and others on these hubs has been teaching yet we don't proclaim ourselves to be called teacher Aaron, Rich, etc. We are not healer John, Steve, Paul. We do however have functions to build up the body of Christ. Today there are no examples of people functioning as apostles, sent out from the Ekklesia. There are those that boast of the title they rationalize they deserve. That doesn't make it so. Because today we teach something doesn't require the title teacher, what of my learning, should I then be called a learner? The fruit is the witness not the institutional churches twisting of scripture.

When they returned from having being sent out by Christ they were still disciples with much to learn. There was not a stripping of the title apostle when they returned and continued to learn because it was not meant to be a title but a word that describes what they were doing at the time.

yours in Christ

Rich


dianetrotter profile image

dianetrotter 22 months ago from Fontana

I like to stay away from titles and just "do" what the Lord has commanded that we do. So many scammers use the titles, "bishop, apostle, etc." and it is all about pride, themselves and raising money. When we are witnessing to nonbelievers, title doesn't matter. When we are sharing with other believers, I can't see a need for a title other than pastor, teacher or brother/sister in Christ.


graceinus 22 months ago from those of the Ekklesia

Rich- Thanks for your comment to my comment. I agree with what you are saying. So that there is no misunderstanding I was not try to imply that anyone now within the ecclesia could be or should be regarded as apostle. My point was to point out in the time of Jesus ministry Jesus had the power and authority to appoint apostles from His disciples any time He desired to do so. In doing so He granted power to them to act on the behalf of the Kingdom. And to spread the Gospel of the Kingdom of heaven and to heal the sick and raise the dead just like Jesus Himself did. No were in scripture does it point to a time when the twelve apostleship became permanent, we assume it was right after the death and resurrection of Jesus.

My only other point was Judas who later betrayed Jesus was ( at least for a short time) an apostle. No one that I know of has ever pointed this out. Most, if not all, "christians" assume Judas had only been a disciple. And yet there is verses here that clearly shown different.

One thing I would like to state is I strongly believe that the twelves disciples were the first of the ecclesia.

I very much agree with your many points and I thank you.


PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 22 months ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ Author

Graceinus,

The APOSTLES returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. - Mark 6:30

And he called to him his twelve DISCIPLES and gave them AUTHORITY over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. The names of the twelve APOSTLES are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;a Simon the Zealot,b and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. - Matthew 10:1-4

The term disciple and apostle seems interchangeable, but I believe there is a difference. What differentiates between the two is that an apostle is someone who is given authority and sent as an ambassador of the Gospel for a specific purpose.

Jesus Christ while on earth was a disciple of his Father being sent by Him as an ambassador (apostle) of the Kingdom of God. He spoke what the Father showed him concerning the Kingdom. He was given AUTHORITY from his Father to fulfill his purpose and mission.

When we become disciples of Jesus Christ, we too learn Kingdom principles just as Jesus learned from his Father. In the same manner, by our actions, we can become ambassadors of the Kingdom of God. What is important to consider is that all those who are apostles will have the anointing and authority given to them from the Spirit of God for a specific purpose that God has given them.

Self-appointed men in the church system will give themselves special titles and authority, but they are meaningless as there are no men of these type in the Kingdom of God. Although they do things in Jesus' name, they are works of iniquity as they are messengers of man-made doctrines given to them by man.


PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 22 months ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ Author

Rich,

The Ekklesia are in one accord as an assembly of believers who are one in spirit with Jesus Christ and the Father. It doesn't matter where we are, but who we are in Spirit. It is Jesus Christ who builds and binds us together.

Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of ONE mind. - Philippians 2:2

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in ONE body. - Collosians 3:14-15

God Bless


Neil Braithwaite 22 months ago

So what’s the big deal in using the term christian? The big deal is that christian does not define who we are in Jesus as He defined us. Christian is the term gentiles/pagans called Jesus’ disciples. Unfortunately, after the Apostolic era, man decided to embrace the term christian.

Saying something is “christian” or calling something “christian” means nothing as far as the gospel of Christ or the ways of this world. However, saying someone is a “disciple” of Christ or calling yourself a disciple of Christ means everything within the context of the gospel of Christ or the ways of this world. Disciple of Christ defines absolutely everything about you in both the physical and spiritual realm.

“Christian” is a life-less term used by an even more life-less institution called “church.” Both terms are the creation of man and exemplify man’s propensity to be deceived by having things his own way.

Ekklesia, on the other hand, is a living and vibrant body with Jesus Christ as its head and disciples are devoted pupils of Christ who are the living stones used to build Christ’s ekklesia.

Jesus specifically called what He would build the ekklesia and he called His brothers and sisters disciples so that they would STAND OUT in this world!

Man specifically calls it church and its members christians so they will FIT IN to this world!

We must make a choice to either stand out or fit in


PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 22 months ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ Author

Diane,

You describe the epitome of the Church system that requires men to have titles. Those among the Ekklesia do not have titles, but FUNCTION in the gifts that God has given them. Those among the Early Ekklesia as attested in Scripture referred to themselves as laborer, brother, fellow-worker, beloved, slave, fellow servant, prisoner, fellow-soldier and steward.

When we look at the church system, people call themselves Reverend, Senior Pastor, Bishop, Pope, Cardinal, Father, Apostle, Pastor, Doctor, Professor, Preacher, etc... The special elite titles they give themselves goes on and on.

Honorary titles were never given to the Early Ekklesia and they did not allow anyone to be addressed in a manner elevating anyone among their brothers and sisters. There were no spiritual celebrities with their fan clubs. The seed of the church system and all denominations are spawned from men rather than Jesus Christ.

All those who are in the Kingdom of God are ordinary people extraordinarily working together in ONE Spirit proclaiming the work of Jesus Christ.

Thank-you for your thoughts and comment. God Bless.

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