The largest part of my Christian life I dedicated myself to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. My purpose was the obedient Christian life in action based on Bible reading, prayer, witnessing and fellowship. This is the ‘young man’ stage the apostle John speaks about (1 John 2:12-14). The young men are in the strength of their lives and want to make a difference, an impact. They want to stand out in discipleship and proclaim loudly: “I will follow Jesus!” John is positive about this stage, because it’s a necessary phase. Yet he continues that one should not remain there.
The final stage is fatherhood where discipleship is no longer the issue and we don’t follow the Master as a disciple. A father has arrived, just as the final word of the chief of Indians ends all argument. A father knows: “I write to you, fathers, because you know Him …” (1 John 2:14). The chief has no one to follow, he simply is. The fatherhood stage is the stage where all dualism has ended: master and disciple, His responsibility and my responsibility. It’s the stage where we are ONE spirit, He as me, two as one, not dissolved or mingled or replaced, but Christ as me. Christ and I are fully there, yet in ONENESS. His responsibility and my responsibility are one, though we don’t speak about ‘things’ anymore but in terms of a ‘Person’. In our consciousness of Christ we died to ‘outer things’, to dynamics, to fruit, etc. In this stage we don’t long to enter the promised land, but realize that we ARE the promised land. We simple are because HE IS. I am because He is. The fatherhood stage is the end of dualism because it simply doesn’t exist. In this stage there is nothing in it for me in duality because I now see that I am no person next to Christ, but one plant with Him in resurrection, where there is, for example, no practicing of the presence of God, for we are not called to do that. Christ is now living AS us, so what is there to practice?
The fatherhood stage is the end of reputation, of longing to be in demand or to have a ministry, etc. It’s the narrow gate where only Christ can enter and He as us. There is no discipleship on that road, because Christ is the way. In the resurrection sphere there are no footsteps to follow. “He is made unto us …” (1 Cor. 1:30). Justification, sanctification, redemption are not things He does, He IS it all (1 Cor. 1:30). The young men recognize they are justified by faith, just as they begin to recognize the presence of God which they want to practice. But the fathers also recognize they are sanctified etc. by faith because He is these and they no longer acquire it or attain to it. They have entered their rest and are beyond following the Rabbi as a separate person. They moved from initial consciousness to the full awareness of it expressed in spontaneity.