Jesus announced the Kingdom was here. He declared the undoing of death, the binding of Satan and the freeing of human beings from distorted views of Father and of themselves.
‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free’ Luke 4.18 NIV.
‘As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give’ Matt 10.7,8 NIV.
The Kingdom of God is Jesus, what He preached and what Paul explained. It is what John expounded: Father in you and you in our Father. The Kingdom of God is Jesus manifest as ourselves and society. Christianity is not a religion but a person. This is fundamental. Yet many remain captive to religion and need to have Jesus set them free.
The new creation that began on Sunday morning when Jesus came out of the tomb was the re-birth of humanity and of the earth. Astute theologians recognise that the Kingdom of God is not Christianity because the Kingdom is not religion. IT IS A PERSON. It is never an abstraction. The Kingdom is Christ come in our flesh, which means that Christ is incarnated and transfused into our being. As such He manifests as the church and then as society. This is the Kingdom of God.
‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing’ John 15.5 NIV.
Jacques Elul and Dietrich Bonhoeffer have been direct enough to say that Kingdom of God is not Christianity – and it is not. It is Jesus manifest in all that exists. This always was the province of the Word (logos) and it is the engine of the new creation. In Jesus the vine we are rooted in Father and we ourselves are the branches and fruit of His being.
‘He is before all things, and in him all things hold together’ Col 1.17 NIV.
BUILT WITHOUT HUMAN HANDS
The church Jesus builds arises out of Himself. ‘Jesus said to them, "Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you’ John 6.53 NIV. While we may have what is called religious life we will have no spirit and life until we eat Jesus into our being. Anyone can produce a fragment of religion to fill a space. But what we present is mainly something and nothing. It does not advance the Kingdom. Just keeps things churning. Our efforts in this mode are a diluted form of death because they are without spirit and life. Live in the reality in which He created us to be alive and impart spirit and life. We are one with Father Jesus and Holy Spirit. As such we can release streams of living water.
‘The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life’ John 6.63 NIV.
The first coming of Jesus marked the beginning of the end of Adam’s system of the knowledge of good and evil. The cross marked its end in time. We are the expression of its end in human society as we live in new covenant life. Adamic culture will end in human society when the church decides that Christ and not its institutional self is life. The life of God is Christ in you. His church is Christ manifest as you.
‘Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them’ John 6.56 NIV.
NEW COVENANT AGENCY
The new covenant is not a theology. It’s the reality Father created for us in Christ.
The reason many remain floundering in the knowledge of good and evil is that very few have lived a new covenant life. This is a life that is totally Christ our life. This is to say, Christ manifest as His people. Let’s be clear. This Kingdom is not Jesus helping people keep the law, do some moral code or live out Christian principles. It’s more direct than that. The new covenant is Christ as you, Christ as all, Christ who has become the system and culture of the earth.
Many Christians have retained a life in the knowledge of good and evil by default. They have adopted an adamic life with a Christian slant. Gregory Boyd calls this a ‘Christianised version of the knowledge of good and evil.’ This is old covenant and not the Kingdom. Adventism remains in Adam because law is the core of its doctrine. But Moses’ law is a schoolmaster for old testament inmates of the knowledge of good and evil – called by Paul the law of sin and death because it separates us from God. But we are alive because we and Father are one.
Adventism makes religion from that which Jesus has set captives free. This is a retrograde ideology that undoes all of the advances achieved by Father in His Son. It regresses into the law and reverses believers into a pre-cross mode in which people live in separation from God under the law.
Adventism extends and expands its message in the name of God, calling it present truth and our perspective. But it is a cleverly designed fable. In the resurrected Jesus we stand upright as sons of God in the person of Jesus. We are alive in the spirit of sonship released into our hearts by Jesus. We now live in His life. We become Jesus multiplied. Multiplied because we eat His flesh and drink His blood. By His Spirit, He is incarnated in our being and is expressed as our persona. As Harry you are an expression of Jesus. As Sharon you help to make Jesus complete in the world. By eating His spiritual body we literally become His physical body. This is the meaning of the Lord’s Table, the meaning of life and the church as the body of Christ.
Never depart this inheritance for a dud religion. Don’t look for community in a delusion. Don’t promote a gospel that is the ‘keepers of the lame.’
GOSPEL OF DECAY
This is what happens when a person converts from normal Christianity to Adventism. Where once you have two legs, now you have one. Once you had two hands. Now one is withered with palsy. Once you had two eyes. Now you have none. Once you had a heart. Now you have a head. Where once your whole body had the potential to be been filled with spirit and life, you now have health message – a fleshly substitute for life in the Spirit of Christ. Where once you had a Sabbath-life in Jesus, now you have a Sabbath day. A day in which you work at ‘being restful,’ where you spend the afternoon in lay-work, sleeping away Sabbath’s boredom and ‘letter driven inertia.’
‘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.
Don’t be deceived by teaching that makes law the reality and Jesus its understudy. The reality is Christ. Only in Him are you a son of God in spirit and in truth.
You have a Messiah who is the Christ of God. You have a living grace who is Christ your life. You have ‘rest for human restlessness’ in the person of Jesus – the real Sabbath rest. Don’t make a false grace out of the Sabbath using it as a cover-all attempt to keep the law. Don’t make a Messiah out of the Sabbath when you have a real Jesus and a genuine Christ who is your life in every possible way. You have fullness in Christ. Embrace your inheritance as the sons and daughters of God.
‘For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect’ Mark 13.32.