Adventism is purported by some to be of the Body of Christ. It was never regarded as such by the pioneers who had defined all of the body – other than themselves as Babylon. In Revelation Babylon is described as the mother of harlots. She is a harlot in that she claims to be the Bride of Christ but is married to the anti-christ and is the host of the anti-christ spirit. J Baxter Kruger observes, “When you start with legal holiness, you have eyes only for the cross, and you never see that in Jesus Christ, nothing less than the eternal Trinitarian life of Father, Son and Spirit is being lived out inside human existence. You never really get the staggering meaning of the incarnation.” This is what John was referring to in the following scripture – the suffocation of Christ come in us by the Spirit by the an obsession with the law.
‘I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist’ 2 John 1.7 NIV.
The anti-christ spirit seldom attacks Christ head on. This would dismay the Believers. The father of lies is more subtle. He plants tares that emasculate the real Christ by substituting a lesser christ with a lesser gospel-like a law plus Jesus mixture.
Cunningly devised fables multiply themselves like viruses of unlife, substituting real life with pseudo-life and rendering our Kingdom authority impotent. These aberrant surface as ‘other gospels’ and negations of the cross, the incarnation and our already achieved union with God – together with substitution of Christ the King with false Messiahs and false christs – doctrinal icons that have been added to God’s Christ and His gospel as if they are a fresh revelation. The Sabbath is a false grace and a false Christ.
Jesus named Himself as the way, the truth and the life. Jesus is the new and living way who is the way to the Father. Paul called Jesus our life, meaning that God’s Son is our unification and oneness with Father and with heaven. Theologians have elaborated on this as the vicarious humanity of Jesus. Here Christ is all and in all. He is the one mediator between humanity and God. In Jesus we and Father are one. Jesus Christ is absolutely sufficient in every way. Anything added to Jesus and His gospel or subtracted from Him and The Plan is a tumour that debilitates Believers from the inside and results in the death of their soul and their spirit.
A useful analogy can be found in a line from Star Trek Discovery. ‘The Klingons are like cancer cells, constantly dividing. To root them out, you must destroy the tumour at its source.’ What is the tumour in the Body of Christ. The tumour is any reversion to the body of death; any distortion of the gospel of Jesus and the apostles and any dilution of the atonement wrought for humanity and the vicarious humanity of Jesus in regard to every possible aspect of our relationship to God.
The anti-dote to the tumour and body of death is the person of Jesus who is life in Himself. “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” John 14.20. When this happens we cease to be dead folks walking and become life folks leaping. Interwoven with God we are life to the full.