How can we know God? Despite what some might say, God is known through Himself. To know God is know Jesus. The disciples asked what they must do to have eternal life. Jesus replied, ‘You must know God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent.’
This answer does not appear to directly apply to their question. It does indirectly however. Firstly eternal life is found in union with God. Secondly Jesus is the express image of our Father. So to know God is to know Jesus and to know Jesus is to have the revelation of infinite life.
The will of God is for Jesus to be your life. The heart of God is for your to have life in its fullest extent.
Jesus said, ‘If you have seen me you have seen the Father.’ His purpose was to strip away the illusions and encumbrances and reveal His Father as His Father is. Since Jesus is God in His fullness, to know Jesus, to worship Him. To have Holy Spirit reveal Him to our heart is to know God in spirit and in truth.
“God cannot be known in spirit and in truth through the law. God is revealed through His son. Life cannot be known in the law. Life is Christ in you.”
We can know something of God from the witness of Creation. We can know Him intimately and accurately from the inner witness of His Spirit. He lives in us and with us. This is to say that the members of the trinity make their home in us. The indwelling of our person by the holy family instructs our hearts by the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God. The Spirit lives to reveal our Father and the Son.
"All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him’ Matt 11.27 NIV. The Spirit of God, the person of Jesus reveals God to us in spirit and in truth. We are made genuine worshipers. We are not worshiping out of superstition, old wives tales, sacred nonsense or another gospel. We are worshipers in spirit and in truth and pleasing to God because we are knowing Him and relating to Him as He is - without any shred of well-meaning idolatry.
We are knowing God in the spirit and not in the flesh and knowing Him in truth because of the accurate witness of Himself to our hearts. This is a person to person revelation. Only the Father knows the Son and only the Son knows the Father. So their witness to us is evidence based, authentic, intimate and penetrating.
The core of the Kingdom is the Fatherhood of God. The dynamic of the new creation is the Spirit of Sonship and the partnership and fellowship of sons and daughters with our Father. We are the relationship of Jesus and His Father multiplied and writ large.
CROOKED PATHS STRAIGHTENED
In Jesus the myths and veils of crooked belief are removed. God is known through the Spirit and witness of the God-head. But He cannot be known through the law. The law is a thing. God is love. Love is the property of persons. The law is an abstraction. It is inert and dead. Attempts to see God through the lens of the law and you will see a head-master God, or some kind of monstrosity - but not the God who is expressed as Jesus Christ.
The real Christ is the Christ revealed to us by Jesus Himself who is with you and in you.
Our argument implies that the Christ we know has to be the real Christ and not a false christ. The real Christ is the Jesus revealed in the new testament - the one in whom the entire creation holds together; the one of whom it is said everything was made by Him and exists for Him and more. The One who sits at the right hand of our Father with all things under His feet. Is Jesus under the law’s feet or is the law under Jesus feet. Our answer to this determines whether we are in the gospel of the kingdom or labouring as workers in the flesh.
If there is a priority to be had it is that Jesus reveals the meaning of the Bible more than the Bible revealing the nature of Jesus. This means that the Bible is not God. But that the Bible testifies of Jesus who is God. The Bible does this well when we read the Bible through the Jesus lens. Anything written in the Bible must be read and understood in the person of Christ in us by the Spirit. Jesus is Lord of the Bible. Anything contained therein must be seen as subordinate to His person and superseded by His authority since all things are under His feet.
We know God because Jesus lives to reveal God to us. Holy Spirit lives to minister Jesus to us so that we are personally mentored by the Spirit of Christ just as readily as if He were visibly with us with a body.
Religion obscures God. A law culture distorts His personality. While ministering in a group some years ago, Jesus revealed to me that there were people present who did not know God and that I should alert those assembled that this was the case. They did not know God because they had been socialised (more accurately brainwashed) in a law culture that makes God what He is not.
Jesus reveals error and calls on us to turn from it to His fullness. We call this repentance. Jesus does not upset our apple cart to offend people but to draw them away from lifeless things, from illusions that distort who He is, into an accurate knowledge of His nature. Why? Because His fullness nourishes our fullness.
The Father of lies seeks to present a false view of God. A distorted view of God produces a crippled and incapacitated ‘us.’ The thief tries to make spiritual invalids out of sons by portraying a distorted father.
Repeating what we began with, we declare that God is known through Jesus and that to see Jesus is to see our Father. We need to read the book of Colossians carefully, absorbing the contents, particularly chapter One which declares the supremacy of Christ. We must do this to undo the misconception embedded in Ellen White’s ‘other gospel’ as expressed in The Desire of Ages where law and Sabbath take precedence over Jesus. Here Jesus is portrayed as the servant and upholder of the law. There is not a scrap of support for this in the New Testament record. What we do find is a Jesus who is one with His Father and a Jesus who lives entirely out of His Father in the Spirit of Sonship. This is Jesus’ identity, mission and destiny.
If Jesus really did live to uphold the law, then Jesus is not God. He is not God because He is subordinate and inferior to a set precepts that take precedence over His person and deity. Such a situation effectively robs Jesus of deity and transfers this to the law. But this is not all. The monstrous nature of this heresy is that the law becomes God and Jesus Christ is robbed of His power and nature. Now Jesus is not Christ our life. Jesus is christ the lackey of the law and the Sabbath. This is certainly not the gospel of the kingdom or any gospel at all. It it subordinates life in the Spirit of Christ to rationalism and legalism and the elemental forces of this world.
I need to be clear here. We cannot get the true meaning of the Bible through Ellen White and we cannot know God as He is through the distortions of Adventist doctrine. Being ‘another gospel’ the Advent message is a grave distortion of the gospel of the Kingdom.
I repeat. We will know God if we see Him in Jesus. We will not know God if we are looking at Him through the law or the lens of the Ellen White gospel. Jesus cannot be known as He is through the tunnel vision of Adventism. Yet anyone with the humility and innocence of a little child can enter the Kingdom of God’s Son in the Jesus of our Father.
‘See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority’ Col 2.8-10 NIV.