4. We follow Christ. Jesus Christ as a historical figure was the final revelation of God’s moral character. Everything that departs from His teaching is inherently wrong. No living human — past, present or future — could claim to be Christ’s proxy on this earth. No organization or institution existing today can justly claim to speak for Him. Rather, we insist that we each must follow Him as best we can discern His calling. His founding of the “church” was not for purposes of control, but fellowship. We fellowship with each other to the degree and for the duration of how well we can tolerate each other with a clear conscience.
Jesus asserted and proved that He could have destroyed both the Jewish and Roman governments. A great many were hoping He would do so, and take the reins of ruling directly on earth. But He also quite assertively refused that role, saying that His kingdom was not of this world — the very definition of “otherworldly.” His words and actions were an emphatic closure of the Old Covenant; the miracles attending His death on the Cross were God’s stamp of authority on that closure. Having demonstrated endless patience and mercy, with astonishing miracles poured out on the nation over centuries, God had shown convincing proof that humanity is unable to adhere to His revelation by the flesh. It had always been a matter of changed hearts.
The Torah itself says it’s a matter of the heart. Without a burning, driving conviction within, there is no point in setting boundaries on human behavior. Prior to the Cross, men could take that higher path, but it required a disciplined effort and focus to rise above the self. Fallen human nature proved relentlessly hostile to a culture and national covenant founded on the mystical call to higher faculties of faith and commitment. The history of Israel is one of constant surrender to the Siren Song of compromise with human worldly wisdom, by degrees taking Israel farther and farther from the purity of their divine inheritance. Jesus reversed the order of things, offering by sheer miracle an escape from the bondage of fallen human will. He granted His own Spirit directly, so that humans could then turn and follow the Father’s will and learn how to claim the divine heritage lost in the Fall.
Jesus chose willingly to submit to the injustice of crucifixion. Today we willingly take up our individual crosses and walk in Christ’s path. Redemption is intensely personal; no two of us pass through the exact same sorrows and trials on the way to the Cross, nor in our calling after the Cross. His dominion is invisible to human senses, and is not bound by human reason, and does not mix with human authority. Holiness cannot be defined by outward compliance with anybody else’s sense of calling and the resulting religion. No other human can decide for you what Christ demands. By the same token, none of us can serve Him alone, so a major element in revealing His glory is how we manage to worship and fellowship together.