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.
The church has Christ as the Chief Cornerstone. As long as there is a church, there will also be at least one living stone upon another.
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. . .
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. . .
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 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 . . .
God is not the author of confusion, but throughout the scriptures has used a consistent pattern of appointing leaders over His called-out ones.
Ups and downs, blessings and trials, have characterized every era of the church. God's people are always battling something negative between the brief highs.
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 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). . .
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. . .
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. . .
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.
Many 'church of God' organizations claim to be part of—or even the only—church of God. The Bible reveals specific characteristics of God's church.
God's true church cannot be found without revelation nor can one join the organization; God calls and places each member in its appropriate place in the Body.
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. . .
Martin Collins, contrasting the world's mega-churches with the church that Christ is building, focuses on the body analogy (I Corinthians 12), illustrating the interconnectedness of all members to Christ and to each other. In considering the differing func. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting that 30 years have passed since the death of Herbert W. Armstrong, and 24 years since the founding of the Church of the Great God, marvels that the greater church of God continues to scatter over 400 separate organizational s. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh, examining Thomas Seeley's analysis of the swarm instinct of bee cultures, and sociologists' attempt to link that wired-in animal instinct to human behavior (opting usually for collective groupthink), suggests that there is a balanced ap. . .
Having shown that God is involved in world affairs, John Ritenbaugh concludes by showing that God's hand was definitely involved in the scattering of the church. Our reaction needs to be positive: that, if He felt it needed to be done, we should respond by. . .
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 . . .
Richard Ritenbaugh, citing the African Proverb, 'It takes a village' asserts that this principle more aptly applies to the church, specifically designed to serve as a support for those in need. In this era of 'going it alone' or 'cocooning,' we as a people. . .
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. . .
John Ritenbaugh, clarifying our worldview with respect to the Israel of God (or the Church) in the context of eschatological (that is, end times) events, declares that our vision of our calling as well as our level of responsibility before the imploding of. . .
Outcome-based religion holds large membership as its measure of success, believing that the ends justify the means. It avoids doctrine that might divide.
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.
Ron Sellers, a religious trend watcher, sees great instability in world religion, and it is mirrored in God's church. Richard Ritenbaugh shows how this dovetails with Bible prophecy of the end time.
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. . .
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 . . .
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. . .
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. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reminding us to take God's words seriously, cautions that all His words have great depth, having far more applications than appear on the surface. His word unfolds in layers, like the peeling back of an onion skin. After the upheaval and d. . .
George Santayana's famous quotation—"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it"—applies equally well to the church of God. Richard Ritenbaugh compares the history of the early church with the events and trends being exhibite. . .
Two events occurred this morning to prime the old thinking pump: the funeral of Pope John Paul II in Vatican City and receiving the February 28, 2005, issue of The Journal: News of the Churches of God in the church's mailbox. ...
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that neglecting to feed the flock has been detrimental to preaching the gospel to the world. Because of this unwitting neglect, many members succumbed to the "lost in the crowd" syndrome, feeling insignificant, meaningl. . .
Paul, using the body analogy in I Corinthians, focuses on the need for unity and inter-relatedness by concentrating upon sound doctrine.
Have you ever wondered what 'all in all' means in relation to God and Christ? This term has great significance to us today.
Mark Schindler, reflecting on the 30th anniversary of his baptism, recalls how he joyfully, but perhaps myopically, assumed that he would automatically walk harmoniously and peacefully with the other members of the body of Christ into the Kingdom and etern. . .
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.
Are numeric growth or miraculous signs sure indicators of God's presence? Before trying to determine where God is working, we must understand what God is doing.
John Ritenbaugh admonishes the greater church of God that we make a conscious effort to feed the flock (devoting more effort, time, energy, and money than for preaching the Gospel as a witness for the world) until we get ourselves straightened out first. T. . .
John Ritenbaugh takes issue with the popularly held notion that preaching the Gospel to the world as a witness is the sole identifying mark of God's church. There is a vast difference between "preaching the Gospel to the world" and "making d. . .
John Ritenbaugh asserts that the pressures and conflicts that the church has undergone is part of a larger Zeitgeist (spirit of the time) that has embroiled institutions religious and political institutions worldwide. The mindset reflects (and is a functio. . .
David Grabbe, cuing in on Ecclesiastes 3:1-3, reminds us that God has designed sequential seasons in which various events occur as a part of a long-term plan. God plans the season; we only get to choose whether and how to respond. There is a time to gather. . .
We do not often think of fellowship as a means of devotion, but when we look into the book of Acts at the unity of the early church, fellowship was a priority of those first members of God's church. Clyde Finklea reveals that Christian fellowship is more t. . .
People who try to supplement their spiritual diet with lawlessness or other heresies risk losing their identity, and ultimately their spiritual life.
The Sermon on the Mount is as vitally important today as when Christ preached it. It contains the way we are to live as God's representatives on this earth.
John Ritenbaugh observes that although each of God's festivals depicts increasingly larger numbers of people being drawn to God, the counter pulls emanating from sinful carnal human nature war against the prompts of God's Holy Spirit, producing continual c. . .
John Ritenbaugh shares the significance of Herbert W. Armstrong's role in the church. Increasingly, some fail to realize Herbert Armstrong's stabilizing role in God's church. The scattering we have experienced since his death has been a blessing from God, . . .
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. . .
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. . .
John Ritenbaugh examines the problem of empty externalism (accompanied by no inward change) extant in the greater church of God- a problem which led to its scattering. All of us, individually and collectively were responsible for its demise. God has promis. . .
John Ritenbaugh, asking the questions "Who are we?" and "Where do we fit in?" examines the process of sanctification, comprising the state we are in because of God's action, a continuous process. The end result is that we will possess a. . .
David Maas cautions that in a dangerous and troubled world in which everyone is being manipulated and conned into squaring off in hatred for one another, being enticed to take the spiritual mark of the Beast (seething anger and hatred toward one another), . . .
Mark Schindler, asking us to ponder the incredible privilege we have been given to be placed within the Body of Christ, called when we were dead in trespasses, reminds us that this same privilege applies to our fellow saints as well. He warns us not to sel. . .
Martin Collins, reflecting on the phrase, "being in one accord," examines the unity of God's church on the Day of Pentecost. Accordingly, we should desire to be unified with the body of Christ. We are mandated to work toward the ultimate unity of. . .
John Ritenbaugh contends that history is not confined to the past. We are actively participating in it just as surely as the prominent figures of the Bible. As citizens of Jerusalem above, we need to have our minds singly focused on the heavenly homeland w. . .
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. . .
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the people who were preaching Christ from questionable motives were church members and not Judaizers, as some have assumed. Paul experienced a dilemma wondering if it would be better to suffer martyrdom, finishing his life's. . .
Paul systematically planned his travels to specific cities for specific reasons, choosing Philippi for its strategic location as the only autonomous Roman colony in the region having historical cultural, military and commercial significance. As an autonomo. . .
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