Jesus was confronted with a situation that could have stirred up pride to fight back. Despite having all power, He chose to work toward unity rather than destruction.
Unity seems to be 'godly,' while division is 'ungodly.' However, unity and division are not as black and white as we typically think of them.
Humanity is tragically disunited. Here is what we must do, individually, when calamitous events—in the world and in the church—are taking place.
Even though God desires brethren to dwell in peace and unity, at times HE ordains and causes disruption and division. How do we explain this apparent paradox?
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that walking worthy demands a balance between doctrine and application or between doctrine and conduct. Unity demands both. It is impossible to make a corporate union of all the splinters of the greater church of God because doct. . .
Rather than establishing the differences we possess, God requires individuals to strengthen and grow in our similarities that He establishes as desirable.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on Jesus Christ's prayer for unity in John 17, insists that unity with our brethren is impossible without unity with God first. Adam and Eve severed this unity by yielding to Satan's influence, stimulating their minds with a nov. . .
Jesus, in His prayer recorded in John 17, fervently asks for unity among His Disciples (and by extension-all of us). Almost 20% of this prayer is devoted to the subject of unity, that His disciples would be unified with God the Father and with each other, . . .
John Ritenbaugh stresses that unless the splinters of the greater church of God repair their mangled relationships with the Almighty, recoupling will be impossible. A major contributory factor in the scattering is the deceitful heart of man (Jeremiah 17:9). . .
John Ritenbaugh asserts that because of our collective lack of self-discipine and our lack of willingness to guard the truth, we have allowed our theological, philosophical, and attitudinal base to deteriorate under the persuasion of the the world, hopeles. . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that God alone chooses the servants through whom He works His will. Sometimes the rationale God uses for selecting His vessels defies worldly wisdom. The major reason for the horrendous split of the greater church of God was the . . .
John Ritenbaugh, insisting that God is not the author of confusion, affirms that God, throughout the scriptures, has used a consistent pattern of appointing leaders over His called-out ones. God has invariably chosen one individual, working with him until . . .
A curious phenomenon ties together several well-known, biblical stories: God makes a judgment and divides His people into two groups, sometimes splitting them right down the middle! Noticing these divinely ordained separations, Charles Whitaker probes the . . .
John Ritenbaugh, focusing on the alarming fragmentation and disunity taking place throughout society and within God's church, assures us that God will ultimately answer Jesus' five-fold prayer for unity in John 17:11. We have a vital part to play in bringi. . .
The group that one fellowships with is less important than the understanding that there is one true church, bound by a spiritual, not a physical unity.
In this lead-off sermon of the 1999 Feast of Tabernacles, John Ritenbaugh draws an instructive though disturbing parallel between the warning given to Belshazzar and the warning given to the greater church of God. A major contributory cause in the splittin. . .
God instructed the Israelites to divide themselves by tribes on Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal to pronounce blessings and curses, providing lessons for us.
The sin of pride underlies many of our other sins, and it is often the reason for the contentions we get into as brethren. John Ritenbaugh looks at the origins of pride and shows how it manifests itself in us.
We all want to be known as seekers of the truth. None of us would want to follow a lie! Yet oftentimes, searching for the truth brings us into conflict with others' beliefs, causing separations between brethren in the church of God. How do we tell truth fr. . .
John Ritenbaugh reminds us that the doctrines entrusted to us through Herbert Armstrong's apostleship remain a major plank in the foundation of our faith. Adopting a revolutionary stance (Proverbs 24:21) for the sake of change, variety, or relieving boredo. . .
Our relationship with God is the key to unity with the brethren. When we are all just like Christ, we will also all resemble each other—and there will be unity.
Mark Schindler, cautioning us to avoid becoming involved in politics or in any sort of agitation for governmental change, focuses on the cautionary comments of the second American President, John Adams, who warned that our Constitution would work only for . . .
John Ritenbaugh suggests that the term "atone" connotes order, unity, and accord derived out of disorganization and chaos. In our nation, education is being used to make unity and harmony. In 1912, the United Stated government turned over the mon. . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that disunity emanates from a poor or tenuous relationship with God. Before godly love can exist, one has to have a solid relationship with God, produced by prayer, Bible study, and meditation. A person with this relationship wit. . .
The symphony orchestra may be the most "finely tuned" metaphor of unity and cooperation. Musicians in an orchestra can teach us about working together.
Focusing upon Psalm 133 as the 14th step of 15 degrees of ascent, Richard Ritenbaugh suggests that in our spiritual pilgrimage, unity will be perhaps one of the last objectives to be accomplished. Upon the anointing or setting apart of our High Priest Jesu. . .
Martin Collins, concluding his series "God's Perseverance with the Saints," focuses on Christ's desire that all His disciples have unity and love. The unity He appeals for is not organizational unity, but unity within the divine nature, exampled . . .
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting upon the breakup of our former fellowship into hundreds of pieces, examines the prospects for future unity. God gave His approval for the destruction of our prior fellowship into myriad splinter groups, allowing heresies to emer. . .
Paul, using the body analogy in I Corinthians, focuses on the need for unity and inter-relatedness by concentrating upon sound doctrine.
Confusion and separation have been man's legacy since Eden. Christ is working to put an end to division, enabling us to be one with the Father and each other.
Richard Ritenbaugh, expounding upon the principle that it is more blessed to give than to receive, suggests that the things we ardently desire for ourselves we should be willing to give to others, including forbearance and forgiveness. Following the Apostl. . .
Charles Whitaker, observing the plethora of pairings (binary opposites, dichotomies in Genesis 1 and 2 (day and night, male and female, sea and land, the Tree of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life, etc.) asserts that during the first stage of Creation, God. . .
To fulfill one's purpose, one must be singularly focused on what one wants to accomplish. Divided minds result in no productivity or even devastation.
Throughout the course of Biblical history, whenever sin appears, confusion, division and separation are the automatic consequences.
We must realize we are walking on a razor's edge, with the Kingdom of God on one side and the world with all its sensual magnetic charms on the other side.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that it is the responsibility of each person to govern himself. Otherwise, even the very best government (the government of our Head, Jesus Christ) won't work. Goethe said "the best of all governments is that which teaches u. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh observes that the self-indulgent, immoral culture of Corinth parallels today's America and the current fractured state of the church. Paul, before he gives the Corinthians a corrective message on factions and party spirit, reminds them t. . .
God put up with the foibles of Abraham, Samson, David, Job, and others, allowing them time to repent and build character. We need to develop this godly trait.
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon Paul's motivation for his letter to the Philippians, both appealing for unity and offering encouragement, reminding them that their relationship with one another was through Christ. Unity could only be maintained if they prayed. . .
Martin Collins, focusing upon the topic of unity, maintains that the church has been charged with the responsibility to bring unity to a hopelessly disunited, fragmented, and chaotic world. In order to maintain this unity, like the Ephesians, we must maint. . .
In this sermon for the Days of Unleavened Bread, John Ritenbaugh reiterates that God demands that we have an obligation to dress and keep that which is placed in our care, improving what He has given to us. We dare not stand still, but must make considerab. . .
John Ritenbaugh continues to examine the shepherd and door analogies occurring in John 10, depicting the close relationship of Jesus with His flock as the security and stability provided by His protection, as opposed to the approach of the hireling. Christ. . .
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