Dear Fellow Believers in Christ, (The Father is desiring genuine fellowship with us as sons)
Were the disciples ever taught by man or just the Father through Jesus? Why did Jesus emphasize the coming of the Holy Spirit to be with His disciples? Why did Christ call Paul as an apostle to the Church? Why did Paul make an emphasis that he wasn't taught by man but by the revelation of Christ in him? What rightly divided truth is made between discipleship and sonship for the Church? Why are the terms disciple or disciples not used in the New Testament teaching Epistles? Holy Spirit you teach and reveal to us all truth of our sonship with Christ in us as us.
FROM DISCIPLESHIP TO SONSHIP
"But when the fullness of time at intervals came, God once then sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to once then redeem those who were under the law, that we at intervals might receive the adoption as sons. And because you ever are sons, God once then sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, 'Abba, Father!' " (Gal. 4:4-6, author's translation).
First, The Disciples were Discipled and Taught in Truth by Jesus
Jesus clearly instructed His disciples to prepare them for the upcoming events of His death and resurrection. Jesus' upper room discourse is recorded in John chapters 13 through 16. Jesus especially desired to prepare His disciples for how they would have to handle situations, following His ascension and the beginning of the church on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus told His disciples that He was going away to the Father (John 16:5). Jesus told them that it was necessary and to their advantage that He go away (John 16:7). Jesus was God incarnate as the Son in the Mary body of Jesus. Jesus lived by the life of the Father in Him. Jesus taught by the life of the Father through Him. The disciples were taught all things by Jesus, the Son of God, through the Person of the Father who lived in and expressed Himself through Him (John 14:10). The disciples were discipled and taught in truth by the voice of the Father, through Jesus. Notice that the disciples were not discipled nor taught by man, but by God.
Second, Jesus Declared that the Holy Spirit Would Disciple in the Future
Jesus declared to His disciples that He would send the Holy Spirit from the Father (John 16:7, 14:16-17). Do not miss the emphasis that Jesus over and over stated to His disciples that the Holy Spirit would be "the Helper" (John 14:26, 15:26). The word for Helper in the Greek is the word Parakletos, which means an intercessor, consoler, advocate and comforter. Jesus is instructing the disciples and reminding them that the Holy Spirit would be the one who was being sent to help and disciple them in the future. Make no mistake, God has not changed His eternal plan. God – Himself still plans to teach and disciple His own through the Person of the Holy Spirit. Notice, there is not one iota of instructions about anyone being discipled or being taught by man, but by God.
Third, The Truth about Jesus' Great Commission About Making Disciples
What about the Great Commission? Did not Jesus instruct them to "make disciples of all the nations"? (Matt. 28:19, NKJ). The Word states to "teach all nations" (Matt. 28:19, KJV). The Greek verb is matheteuo given in the imperative mood and active voice for His disciples to go and teach or make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19). What were the disciples instructed to teach? The closest rendering from the Greek text for each noun and verb states, "ever teaching them to observe all things that I once then accomplished in you; and lo I ever am with you all the days until the completion of the age" (Matt. 28:20). Jesus instructed them to teach others what he had accomplished in them. Jesus primarily told the disciples to teach others of the Holy Spirit Helper.
Fourth, The Holy Spirit is the Essential Ingredient and True Teacher of All
God has planned that He will disciple His people. What He began in His Son Jesus, He is now completing by and through the Person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was sent as promised on the Day of Pentecost to begin the Church. Was it the coming of the Holy Spirit or Peter's sermon of explanation that followed that caused 3000 people to be saved? Probably it was some of both. However, the essential ingredient had to be the coming of the Holy Spirit for true salvation to take place. The Holy Spirit is also the true essential of any growth of new saints in Christ. For the Holy Spirit is "the Spirit of truth" (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit rightly divides "the word of truth" (II Tim. 2:15), and reveals Christ, who is the Person of truth (John 14:6). The Holy Spirit is the true teacher of all.
Fifth, Use of Disciple or Disciples Is Not Found in the Teaching Epistles
There is no question that God has gifts of teaching in the Body of Christ. Teachers are facilitators to point men to the Holy Spirit and to confirm what the Holy Spirit is teaching. For without the Holy Spirit there can be no true teaching or growth. He is the essential ingredient. We encourage men to pray and read the Bible to build their character and fellowship with God. However, if we don't lead them to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, then as some have testified, reading the Bible was like reading empty words on a page or praying was just seemingly empty words. There was a transition period following Pentecost, where God truly removed the mixing of law with the 100% grace reality of what Christ did on the cross and with His resurrection. The Apostle Paul was called by Christ to effect this necessary transition in the Church. The gospel he preached was "not according to man" (Gal. 1:11). Paul wasn't discipled by man, but by the Holy Spirit who revealed the Son in Him (Gal. 1:12,16). Notice the use of disciple or disciples is not found past the Book of Acts in the teaching Epistles? Why?
Sixth, The Father Birthed Us to Become His Sons for Love and Fellowship
John proclaimed, "Consider the incredible love that the Father has shown us in allowing us to be called 'children of God' – and that is not just what we are called, but what we are!" (I John 3:1, Phillips). The reason why the terms disciple or disciples are no longer found in the teaching Epistles, is that we are now children and sons of God. Even the term disciple indicates incorrect God-on-the-outside type learning. The teaching Epistles declare that we are "children of God" and "sons of God" throughout. Sons of God best illustrate correct God-on-the-inside type learning. The Father birthed us to become His sons for love and fellowship.
Seventh, The Father wants Fellowship with Us, Not as Disciples but Sons
The Holy Spirit renews the mind until we understand that Christ lives in us as us to be our only life. Then, all of this incorrect God-on-the-outside learning will be put aside. We won't think of ourselves as disciples, but sons – as we see His only begotten Son living in us and through us with His love-for-others Spirit. We need to be taught by the truth of the anointing within us (I John 2:27). If we are sons, we will be led and taught by the Spirit of God (Rom. 8:14).v As Christ is revealed in us by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of His Son in us will cry out "Abba, Father" (Gal. 4:6, Rom. 8:15). The Father desires genuine fellowship with us, not as disciples learning from the outside, but as sons learning from the inside. Our passion is to point men to the Holy Spirit, who will reveal truth – Christ in us as us!