I was born in San Diego, and grew up as an only child in a Christian home. I attended private Christian school. My family attended a Baptist church. At 13 years of age, I prayed the ‘sinner’s prayer’ one day in church, but I did not tell anyone. I guess that I wasn’t ready yet to make him the Lord of my life, and I was fearful of what the neighborhood kids would say about me. Maybe they would laugh at me, make fun of me, or call me a Jesus freak After all, the idea that Jesus died and came back to life seemed very unlikely to me. How could I possibly defend this crazy sounding story? If it was true, I wanted to believe, but I just didn’t know how, and I was too afraid to ask.
For 27 years, I walked through life believing that there might be a God, but was unsure. I believed that I was a pretty good person and deserved to go to heaven if there was one. However, my belief had no basis other than I had heard this for a number of other people and it seemed logical to me. Also, I was told by a close friend in college that there are a lot of religions, as well as, ways to heaven. And, in addition, religions just try to explain what we do not know.
At nearly 40 years old, I was in the best physical shape of my life, and everything seemed great. However, starting with my 40th birthday, I began to experience pain in a number of areas of my life. First, I became very aware that my marriage relationship was not in a good place. Soon to follow, my athletic triathlete body started to hurt from age and injury. I surrendered. I let go. No longer did I believe that I was in control. I began to work on myself. I began searching for answers. Thankfully, God had put many people in my path that would help me find a life of significance and purpose.
During that same year, a friend put his hand on my shoulder in the parking lot of a hospital, and prayed for God to make himself known to me in a way that I could understand. Eleven days later, the prayer was answered when God revealed himself in a powerful way to me. It was on that day of September 15, 2011, that God became real to me.
Ron’s Thrills and Trials as a Disciple of Jesus
I have been a believer now for almost 6 years, and it is time for me to work at going deeper. I want to be able to grow my faith and take it to a greater depth. More specifically, I need discipleship help in the area of leadership. I am a father to three children and I desperately want them to know God. And, I want to be a better father to them. Also, there is a new believer at church that is asking me to meet with him weekly. I want to know how to disciple him in his new found faith.
Ron and Podcast Seminary
I have lead a couple of small groups, and both times they have dissolved after two or three years. If I was better at discipleship, I believe that those small groups might have remained intact and still be thriving to this day. It is my hope that Podcast Seminary can help me to meet my spiritual growth needs, and as a result, I can become a more effective discipler and follower of Christ.
Listen to Ron’s Interviews on Our Official Podcast! Part 1 and Part 2
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The Didache (literally “Teaching” but commonly called “The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles”) is an ancient spiritual formation discipleship book. It is an extrabiblical (non-scriptural) booklet that provides an orthodox understanding of essential Christian teaching. It is the earliest known discipleship manual from the Early Church in existence, believed to express the core teachings of the Twelve Disciples, which would have ostensibly included the Original Twelve, minus Judas Iscariot, who was almost immediately replaced by Matthias (Acts 1:12-26).
A depiction of Matthias, the Apostle replacing the deceased traitor, Judas Iscariot
Matthias (Acts 1:12-26) replaced Judas Iscariot, after Judas betrayed Christ and committed suicide.[/caption]
The Teaching of the Apostles.
Translated by J.B. Lightfoot; Modernized and abridged by Stephen Tomkins; introduced, edited and prepared for the web by Dan Graves and partially re-edited by Freddy Cardoza.
The Didache meaning “Teaching” is the short name of a Christian manual compiled very early in the history of the Christian faith. The full title is The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles. Some Christians thought Didache was inspired, but the church rejected it when making the final decision which books to include in the New Testament.
Didache contained instructions for Christian groups; and its statement of belief may be the first written catechism. It has four parts: the first is the “Two Ways, the Way of Life and the Way of Death;” the second explains how to perform rituals such as baptism, fasting, and Communion; the third covers ministry and how to deal with traveling teachers; the fourth part is a reminder that Jesus is coming again, with quotations from several New Testament passages which exhort Christians to live godly lives and prepare for “that day.” Baptism
This is how you should baptize:
Having recited all these things, [the first half of the Teaching, “The Way of Life and the Way of Death”] baptize in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, in running water. If you do not have running water, then baptize in still water. The water should be cold, but if you do not have cold water, then use warm. If you have neither, then just pour water on the head three times in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Both the one who is baptized and the one who baptizes should fast beforehand, along with any others who are able, the one that is baptized being told to fast for a day or two. Prayer and Fasting
Your fasting should not be like the hypocrites’. They fast on Monday and the Thursday: you should fast on the Wednesday and Friday. You should not pray like the hypocrites either, but as the Lord commanded in his Gospel:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name; Your kingdom come; Your will be done, as in heaven, so also on earth; Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our debt, as we forgive our debtors; Do not lead us into trial, but deliver us from the evil one; for yours is the power and the glory for ever and ever. Say this prayer three times a day.
This is how you should give thanks at the Eucharist: First, for the cup:
We give you thanks, our Father, for the holy vine of your son David which you revealed to us through your son Jesus. Yours is the glory for ever and ever.
Then for the broken bread:
We give you thanks, our Father, for the life and knowledge which you revealed to us through your son Jesus. Yours is the glory for ever and ever. As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains and being gathered together became one, so may your Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom For yours is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever and ever.
No one should eat or drink this Eucharistic thanksgiving, unless they that have been baptized into the name of the Lord. As the Lord has said, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs.” After everyone has had enough, thank God with these words:
We give you thanks, Holy Father, for your holy name, which you have revealed to us through your son Jesus. Yours is the glory for ever and ever. Almighty Lord, you created all things for your name’s sake, and gave food and drink to people for their enjoyment, so that they would thank you, but you gave us spiritual food and drink and eternal life through your son. Above all we thank you that you are powerful Yours is the glory for ever and ever. Remember your Church, Lord. Deliver it from all evil, perfect it in your love, sanctify it and gather it together from the four winds into your kingdom which you have prepared for it. Yours is the glory for ever and ever. May grace come and may this world pass away. Hosanna to the God of David. If any man is holy, let him come; if any man is not, let him repent. Maranatha. Amen.
Let prophets, however, give thanksgiving as they see fit. Teachers, Apostles and Prophets
Listen to anyone who comes to teach you such things as these, but if a teacher is led astray and teaches a different doctrine that undermines what you have been told, do not hear him. However if he comes to the increase righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord, receive him as you would the Lord.
You should treat apostles and prophets as the Gospel commands. Receive every apostle that comes to you as you would the Lord. But he must not stay more than one day, or two if necessary: but if he stays three days, he is a false prophet. When an apostle leaves you, give him nothing except bread until he finds shelter. If he asks for money, he is a false prophet. Do not test or evaluate any prophet speaking in the Spirit – this is the one unforgivable sin. But not every one that speaks in the Spirit is a prophet, only those who live in the way of the Lord.
Thus it is by their conduct that you can tell false prophets from true. Similarly, no prophet shall eat while he is in the Spirit; if he does, he is a false prophet. Even if a prophet teaches the truth, if he does not do what he teaches, is a false prophet. However, if a prophet that has been approved and found true, and lives out the cosmic mystery of the Church, does not teach you to do all that he does himself, you should not judge such a prophet. His judgment must be left to God, for the prophets in the past also did such things. If anyone says in the Spirit, “Give me silver”, or asks for anything else, do not listen to him. But if he tells you to give to others that are in want, let no one judge him.
Receive everyone who comes in the name of the Lord. When you have tested them you will know them, for you will be able to discern true from false. If the one who comes is a traveler, assist him, as well as you can, but he should not stay with you more than two days — or three if necessary. But if he is a craftsman who wishes to settle with you, let him work for his bread. If he has no trade, use your discretion to provide a way for him to live as a Christian among you, but not in idleness. If he will not do this, he is trading Christ for profit. Beware of such men. But all true prophets and teachers who wish to settle among you are, like workers, worthy of their food.
Therefore you should always give the first fruits of the produce of the wine-press and of the threshing-floor, and of your oxen and sheep, to the prophets, for they are your chief-priests. If you do not have a prophet, give them to the poor instead. In the same way you should give the first fruits to the prophet when you make bread, or open a jar of wine or oil, and the same goes for your money and clothes and all possessions, as you see fit, in accordance with the commandment. Sunday Worship
On the Lord’s day, come together, break bread and give thanks, having first confessed your sins, so that your sacrifice may be pure. Anyone who has a dispute with another, must not join your assembly until they have been reconciled, so that your sacrifice may not be defiled, for this is the sacrifice spoken of by the Lord: ‘”In every place and at every time offer me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great king,” says the Lord, “and My name is wonderful among the nations.’”‘ Church Leaders Therefore appoint for yourselves bishops and deacons worthy of the Lord, men who are meek and not lovers of money, who are true and approved, because they also perform the service of prophets and teachers to you. Do not despise them, for they are worthy of honor alongside prophets and teachers.
Wrongdoers and Doing Right
And reprove one another, not in anger but in peace, as the Gospel tells you. If one of you does wrong to another, do not speak a word to him until he repents. Your prayers, your giving to the poor and all your deeds, should be done in accordance with the Gospel of our Lord. The End Times
Be careful how you live. Do not let your lamps be quenched, nor your loins ungirdled, but be ready, for you do not know the hour our Lord will come. Meet together frequently, pursuing what is good for your souls, for your whole time as a believer will come to nothing if you are found to be imperfect at the end time. In the last days the false prophets and corrupters shall multiply, and the sheep will be turned into wolves, and love will be turned into hate. As lawlessness increases, they will persecute and betray and hate one another. And then the deceiver of the world will appear as a Son of God, performing signs and wonders, and the earth will be delivered into his hands. He will do things more unholy than any since the beginning of the world.
All of humanity shall come to the fire of testing, and many will fall and perish. But all who endure in their faith shall be saved from the Curse. Then the signs of the truth will appear: firstly a rift in the heavens, then the sound of a trumpet, and thirdly the resurrection of the dead. But not all will rise, because, as it is said, ‘The Lord shall come, and all his saints with him’. Then the world will see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven.
The Didache gives us a glimpse into the hearts and minds of the earliest converts to Christianity. It’s a treasure trove of insight and instruction that we are grateful to possess. Read and re-read it, and be blessed!
The Didache (literally “Teaching” but commonly called “The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles”) is an ancient extrabiblical (non-scriptural) booklet that provides an orthodox understanding of essential Christian teaching. It is the earliest known discipleship manual from the Early Church in existence. Learn more.
1:1 There are two ways, one of life and one of death! and there is a great difference between the two ways. 1:2 The way of life is this: First, you shall love God who made you. And second, love your neighbor as yourself, and do not do to another what you would not want done to you. 1:3 The meaning of these sayings is this: Bless those who curse you, and pray for your enemies, and fast for those who persecute you. For what reward is there for loving those who love you? Do not the heathens do the same? But you should love those who hate you, and then you shall have no enemies. 1:4 Abstain from fleshly and bodily lusts: If someone strikes your right cheek, turn the other also, and be perfect. If someone forces you to go one mile, go two. If someone takes your cloak, give also your coat. If someone takes from you what is yours, don’t ask for it back. You really cannot. 1:5 Give to every one who asks you, and don’t ask for it back. The Father wants his blessings shared. Happy is the giver who lives according to this rule, for that one is guiltless. But the receiver must beware; for if one receives who has need, he is guiltless, but if one receives not having need, he shall stand trial, answering why he received and for what use. If he is found guilty he shall not escape until he pays back the last penny. 1:6 However, concerning this, there is a saying: “Let your alms sweat in your hands until you know to whom to give them.”
2 The Second Commandment
2:1 The second commandment of the teaching is this: 2:2 Do not commit murder; do not commit adultery; do not corrupt boys; do not have illicit sex; do not steal; do not practice magic; do not practice witchcraft; you shall not murder a child, whether it be born or unborn. Do not covet the things of your neighbor. 2:3 Do not swear or bear false witness. Do not speak evil of others; do not bear grudges. 2:4 You should not be double-minded or double-tongued, for a double-tongue is a deadly snare. 2:5 Your speech should not be false nor empty, but fulfilled by action. 2:6 Do not be covetous, or greedy, or hypocritical, or malicious, or arrogant. Do not have designs against your neighbor. 2:7 Hate no one; correct some, pray for others, and some you should love more than your own life.
3 My Child, Flee Evil
3:1 My child, flee evil of all kinds, and everything like it. 3:2 Don’t be prone to anger, for anger leads to murder. Don’t be jealous or quarrelsome or hot-tempered, for all these things lead to murder. 3:3 My child, don’t be lustful, for lust leads to illicit sex. Don’t be a filthy talker or allow your eyes a free reign, for these lead to adultery. 3:4 My child, don’t observe omens, since it leads to idolatry. Don’t be an enchanter, or an astrologer, or a purifier, or be willing to see or hear about these things, for these all lead to idolatry. 3:5 My child, don’t be a liar, since a lie leads to theft. Don’t love money or seek glory, for these things lead to thievery. 3:6 My child, don’t grumble, since it leads to blasphemy, and don’t be self-willed or evil-minded, for all these things lead to blasphemy. 3:7 On the contrary, be gentle, since the gentle will inherit the earth. 3:8 Be long-suffering and pitiful and guileless and gentle and good, and with trembling, treasure the words you have received. 3:9 Don’t exalt yourself or open your heart to overconfidence. Don’t be on intimate terms with mighty people, but with just and lowly ones. 3:10 Accept whatever happens to you as a blessing, knowing that nothing comes to pass apart from God.
4 My Child, Remember
[4:1 My child, remember day and night him who speaks the word of God to you, and honor him as the Lord. For wherever his lordship is spoken of, there he is.] 4:2 Seek each day the faces of the saints, in order that you may be refreshed by their words. 4:3 Do not initiate divisions, but rather bring peace to those who contend against one another. Judge righteously, and do not take social status into account when reproving for transgressions. 4:4 Do not waver in your decisions. 4:5 Do not be one who opens his hands to receive, or closes them when it is time to give. 4:6 If you have anything, by your hands you should give ransom for your sins. 4:7 Do not hesitate to give, and do not complain about it. You will know in time who is the good Rewarder. 4:8 Do not turn away from one who is in want; rather, share all things with your brother, and do not say that they are your own. For if you are sharers in what is imperishable, how much more in things which perish! 4:9 Do not remove your hand from your son or daughter; teach them the fear of God from their youth. 4:10 Do not give orders to your servants when you are angry, for they hope in the same God, and they may lose the fear of God, who is over both of you. God is surely not coming to call on us according to our outward appearance or station in life, but to them whom the Spirit has prepared. 4:11 And you, servants, be subject to your masters as to God’s image, in modesty and fear. 4:12 You should hate all hypocrisy and everything which is not pleasing to the Lord. 4:13 Do not in any way neglect the commandments of the Lord, but keep what you have received, neither adding nor taking away anything. 4:14 In your gatherings, confess your transgressions, and do not come for prayer with a guilty conscience.
This is the way of life!
5 The Way of Death
5:1 The way of death, on the other hand, is this: It is evil and accursed—murders, adulteries, lust, illicit sex, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, sorceries, robberies, false testimonies, hypocrisy,double-heartedness,deceit, haughtiness, depravity, self-will, greediness, filthy talking, jealousy, over-confidence, loftiness, boastfulness—those who do not fear God. 5:2 The way of death is the way of those who persecute the good, hate the truth, love lies, and do not understand the reward for righteousness. They do not cleave to good or righteous judgment; they do not watch for what is good, but for what is evil. They are strangers to meekness and patience, loving vanities, pursuing revenge, without pity for the needy and oppressed. They do not know their Creator; they are murderers of children, destroyers of God’s image. They turn away from those who are in need, making matters worse for those who are distressed. They are advocates for the rich, unjust judges of the poor. In a word, the way of death is full of those who are steeped in sin. Be delivered, children, from all of this!
6 See That No One Leads You Astray
6:1 See that no one leads you astray from the way of this teaching, since all other teachings train you without God. 6:2 For if you are able to bear the entire yoke of the Lord, you will be perfect; but if you are not able, then at least do what you can. 6:3 Concerning food, do what you are able to do and be on guard against meat offered to idols, for that is to worship dead gods.
7 Concerning Baptism
7:1 Concerning baptism, you should baptize this way: After first explaining all things, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in flowing water. 7:2 But if you have no running water, baptize in other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, then in warm. 7:3 If you have very little, pour water three times on the head in the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. 7:4 Before the baptism, both the baptizer and the candidate for baptism, plus any others who can, should fast. The candidate should fast for one or two days beforehand.
8 Your Fasts and Prayers
8:1 Your fasts should not be with the hypocrites, for they fast on Mondays and Thursdays. You should fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. 8:2 And do not pray like the hypocrites, but rather as the Lord commanded in the gospel: Our Father in heaven, holy be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us enough bread day-by-day. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one. 8:3 Pray this three times each day.
9 Concerning the Eucharist (Lord’s Supper/Communion)
9:1 Concerning the Eucharist, give thanks this way. 9:2 First, concerning the cup: We thank you, our Father, for the holy vine of David your servant, which you made known to us through Jesus your servant. To you be the glory forever. 9:3 Next, concerning the broken bread: We thank you, our Father, for the life and knowledge which you made known to us through Jesus your servant. To you be the glory forever. 9:4 Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let your church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. To you is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ forever. 9:5 Allow no one to eat or drink of your Eucharist, unless they have been baptized in the name of the Lord. For concerning this, the Lord has said, “Do not give what is holy to dogs.”
10 After the Eucharist
10:1 After the Eucharist when you are filled, give thanks this way: 10:2 We thank you, holy Father, for your holy name which you enshrined in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality that you made known to us through Jesus your servant. To you be the glory forever. 10:3 You, Master Almighty, have created all things for your name’s sake. You gave food and drink to all people for enjoyment, that they might give thanks to you; but to us you freely give spiritual food and drink and life eternal through Jesus, your servant. 10:4 Before all things we thank you because you are mighty. To you be the glory forever. 10:5 Remember, Lord, your church. Deliver it from all evil and make it perfect in your love, and gather it from the four winds sanctified for your kingdom which you have prepared for it. For Yours is the power and the glory forever. 10:6 Let grace come, and let this world pass away!
Hosanna to the Son of David! If anyone is holy, let him come; if anyone is not holy, let him repent. Maranatha! Amen.
[10:7 But permit the prophets to make thanksgiving as much as they desire.]
11 Welcome the Teacher
11:1 Welcome the teacher when he comes to instruct you in all that has been said. 11:2 But if he turns and trains you in another tradition to the destruction of this teaching, do not listen. If he teaches so as to increase righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord, receive him as the Lord. 11:3 Act according to the precepts of the gospel concerning all apostles and prophets: 11:4 Let every apostle who comes to you be received as the Lord. 11:5 But he must not remain more than one day, or two, if there’s a need. If he stays three days, he is a false prophet. 11:6 And when the apostle goes away, let him take nothing but bread to last him until his next night of lodging. If he asks for money, he is a false prophet. 11:7 In addition, if any prophet speaks in the Spirit, you shall not try or judge him; for every sin will be forgiven, but this sin cannot be forgiven. 11:8 But not everyone who speaks in the Spirit is a prophet; only he is a prophet who has the ways of the Lord about him. By their ways will the false prophet and the prophet be known. 11:9 Any prophet who orders a meal in the Spirit does not eat it; if he does, he is indeed a false prophet. 11:10 And any prophet who teaches the truth, but does not do what he teaches, is a false prophet. 11:11 When a prophet, proved true, works for the mystery of the church in the world but does not teach others to do what he himself does, he will not be judged among you, for his judgment is already before God. The ancient prophets acted in this way, also. 11:12 But whoever says in the Spirit, “Give me money,”or something else like this, you must not listen to him. But if he tells you to give for the sake of others who are in need, let no one judge him.
12 Welcome Anyone Coming in the Name of the Lord
12:1 Welcome anyone coming in the name of the Lord. Receive everyone who comes in the name of the Lord, but then, test them and use your discretion. 12:2 If he who comes is a transient, assist him as far as you are able; but he should not remain with you more than two or three days, if need be. 12:3 If he wants to stay with you, and is a craftsman, let him work for his living. 12:4 But if he has no trade, use your judgment in providing for him; for a Christian should not live idle in your midst. 12:5 If he is dissatisfied with this sort of an arrangement, he is a Christ peddler. Watch that you keep away from such people.
13 Every Genuine prophet
13:1 Every genuine prophet who wants to live among you is worthy of support. 13:2 So also, every true teacher is, like a workman, entitled to his support. 13:3 Every first fruit, therefore, of the products of vintage and harvest, of cattle and of sheep, should be given as first fruits to the prophets, for they are your high priests. 13:4 But if you have no prophet, give it all to the poor. 13:5 If you bake bread, take the first loaf and give it according to the commandment. 13:6 If you open a new jar of wine or of oil, take the first fruit and give it to the prophets. 13:7 If you acquire money or cloth or any other possession, set aside a portion first, as it may seem good to you, and give according to the commandment.
14 On the Lord’s Day
14:1 On the Lord’s day, gather yourselves together and break bread, give thanks, but first confess your sins so that your sacrifice may be pure. 14:2 However, let no one who is at odds with his brother come together with you, until he has reconciled, so that your sacrifice may not be profaned. 14:3 For this is what the Lord has said: “For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the of hosts. . . . For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name is reverenced among the nations.”
15 Appoint Bishops for Yourselves
15:1 Appoint bishops for yourselves, as well as deacons, worthy of the Lord, of meek disposition, unattached to money, truthful and proven; for they also render to you the service of prophets and teachers. 15:2 Do not despise them, after all, for they are your honored ones, together with the prophets and teachers. 15:3 And reprove one another, not in anger, but in peace, as you have it in the gospel. But to anyone who acts amiss against another, let no one speak to him, nor let him hear anything from you until he repents. But your prayers and alms and all your deeds so do, as you have it in the gospel of our Lord.
16 Watch Over Your Life
16:1 Watch over your life, that your lamps are never quenched, and that your loins are never unloosed. Be ready, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 16:2 Come together often, seeking the things that are good for your souls. A life of faith will not profit you if you are not made perfect at the end of time. 16:3 For in the last days false prophets and corrupters will be plenty, and the sheep will be turned into wolves, and love will be turned into hate. 16:4 When lawlessness increases, they will hate and persecute and betray one another, and then the world-deceiver will appear claiming to be the Son of God, and he will do signs and wonders, and the earth will be delivered into his hands, and he will do iniquitous things that have not been seen since the beginning of the world. 16:5 Then humankind will enter into the fire of trial, and many will be made to stumble and many will perish; but those who endure in their faith will be saved from under the curse itself. 16:6 And then the signs of the truth will appear: the first sign, an opening of the heavens; the second sign, the sounding of the trumpet; and the third sign, the resurrection of the dead— 16:7 not of every one, but as it is said: “Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.” 16:8 Finally, “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory.”