You may have come from a sector of Christianity where religion was about ‘being right.’ But Jesus did not come t0 multiply religion. He came to multiply Himself in us. His Kingdom is about being alive.’ Those who have the Son have life. Those who do not have the son do not have life.’
‘Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life’ 1 John 5.12 NIV. If it is important to have the Son for life it is important that the figure we worship is the Christ of God and not a false christ who is subservient to the law. With the Christ of God all things are under His feet. He is the law. But not the law of Moses or an artifact of the knowledge of good and evil. He is the law of the Spirit of life. Jesus does not promote celestial or terrestrial law-mongering. He is life Himself.
Father is infinitely more attractive than portrayed by Ellen White. He is fully portrayed in Jesus. The Kingdom of God is all that is represented by Jesus and those for whom He is life. It has nothing at to do with the austerity dogma of the law and the Ellen White imagination.
As a small child I developed a distaste for Adventism. As an infant I perceived it as anti-life. As I got older I accustomed myself do dying for a day each Saturday; of becoming a non-person until my resurrection Sabbath evening. Once the first star appeared we could once again ride our bikes with glee, take off our religious husk and act normal. Adventists are more accurately baptized into the Sabbath than into Christ. As an icon The Sabbath represents the law and ties Believers to Adam and the authority of Satan. As an observance the Sabbath is an attempted grace - a grace in light of the fact that everyone knows the law cannot be kept. So let’s go for the illusion of law-keeping through the artifice of The Sabbath. As a ‘righteousness’ The Sabbath is a counterfeit and a false christ. It is called The Sabbath with a capital T out of repsect for its mistaken messiahship.
But this Sabbath - a false one as it turns out dilutes Christ as our righteousness and removes our being from immersion in Him by the Spirit. It places us within the bony carcass of the law. We do have a Sabbath who is Christ our rest in God personified not as a legalistic day but as the Spirit of Life indwelling all our days.
‘For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience’ Heb 4.8-11 NIV.
I did not know it as Adventism then. It was much later that I realized that it was not of Christ, not His gospel and not the Kingdom of God. There’s a reason why it is bereft of spirit and life, barren of the gifts of the Spirit and lacking in authority to heal and expel demons. Tied to the law it denies that Christ has come by the Spirit into the physical lives of Believers.
‘But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus [come in the flesh] that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here’ 1 John 4.3 NIV.
Adventism claims to be more right than any other group of Believers. Some taught us, during our youth, that it was the most up-to-date revelation of the will and the nature of God. One lecturer of considerable intelligence labelled the new covenant ‘a theology.’ It’s not of course. It’s what Father, son and Holy Spirit have done for the human race. Deny this and we are incompetent to represent and minster the Kingdom of God. Sadly Adventism is based entirely on a reversal of what Father accomplished in Jesus and gross ignorance of the new covenant. As such it is anti-life. It is a ‘gospel’ that dulls intelligence and shrinks the mind.
‘He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life’ 2 Cor 3.6 NIV.
Raised as a pot plant in the Adventist glass house we would have absorbed the impression that our walk is a kind of draft board on which we attempt to step on the white squares and avoid the black ones. This is religion but it is not life. We make religion out of believing right and doing right. This is the natural result of living from a Christianized knowledge of good and evil and living from the law. The essence of legalism is right knowledge and right action. This is exactly what Adventism means when it claims to ‘have the truth.’
The Kingdom of Jesus is not about being right. It is about life. But there is one thing we cannot afford to be wrong about - the fact that Christ Himself is totally our life.
By being made one with our Father we are rejoined to a river of life that is the trinity in its fullness from first to last. Here our life is more a flow than discrete actions. It is His spirit manifest in our being and His life in our actions. Life is the expression of the Spirit and Life of Jesus in the Believer.
‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ John 10.10 NIV.
If Jesus is righteousness He is also rightness. But He is far more than a representation of ethics and morality. He is life personified. All creation is meant to live, move and have its being in the person of God. Jesus represents the reason and purpose of the earth. He links us to the trinity and situates our spirit in the tripartite presence. As sons planted in our Father we are who we are and flourish in the Spirit of Sonship to be “I am” in the Greater IAM. In Him you find your identity, your purpose and proper place in the story that is the book of life. As a bonus you will live forever!
This is why the gospel of the Kingdom is never about abandoning one lot of doctrine, taking up another or identifying ourselves as a former this or that. It’s not about religion. It is about life. Life itself. Infinite unbounded life! The gospel of the Kingdom as opposed to mere religion is Christ our life, Christ come in our flesh and Christ in us. More radically it is Christ as us. Together we are the manifestation of the new creation. Here we have moved from the shadows of religion to the reality that is Christ.