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.
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?
Throughout the course of Biblical history, whenever sin appears, confusion, division and separation are the automatic consequences.
A curious phenomenon ties together several biblical stories: God makes a judgment and divides His people into two groups, often splitting them down the middle!
God instructed the Israelites to divide themselves by tribes on Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal to pronounce blessings and curses, providing lessons for us.
Competition is the root cause of war, business takeovers, and marital discord. Solomon describes man's rivalry with one another as a striving after wind.
God commanded the Israelites to utter blessings from Mount Gerazim and curses from Mount Ebal, most of which deal with hidden sins that give rise to hypocrisy.
The sin of pride underlies many of our other sins, and it is often the reason for the contentions we get into as brethren.
Like the symphony orchestra, only as an instrumentalist submits to the leader, working with the other members of the ensemble, can unity be accomplished.
The peace that passes all understanding comes from yielding to God's will, asking Him for a soft, pliable heart to replace the hard heart of stubbornness.
God is not the author of confusion, but throughout the scriptures has used a consistent pattern of appointing leaders over His called-out ones.
We will become united as we draw closer to God. If we regard a brother in Christ as a competitor rather than as a trusted ally, unity will be impossible.
Martin Collins focuses on the second and third epistles of John, letters. Second John warns Christians against false teachers and the necessity not to let down their guard, realizing that deception is possible when they move 'progressively' against doctrin. . .
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. . .
God gave His approval for the destruction of the Worldwide Church of God into numerous groups, allowing heresies so He could see who really loves Him.
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. . .
Because of our lack of self-discipline and willingness to guard the truth, we have allowed our theological base to deteriorate under the persuasion of the world.
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.
John Reid, a veteran of the Korean war, knows the horrors of war. We are in a spiritual war right now, and it will only become hotter as we near the end!
The leavening indicates that the wave loaves speak to this life rather than the resurrection. It is accepted by God only because of the other sacrifices.
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, . . .
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. . .
God has placed us all in the body where it has pleased Him. We dare not imitate Satan by letting self-centered goals eclipse God's purpose.
Considering the events and trends exhibited in the modern church of God, will it follow the disastrous example of early second-century Christianity?
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. . .
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 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 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. . .
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.
Richard Ritenbaugh contends that we in the church should side neither with the progressive (liberal) worldview nor the traditional (conservative) worldview, but march to the beat of a different drummer. Americans, as part of the culture of Israel, debate a. . .
Richard Ritenbaugh asserts that the epistle of James stresses both faith and works, emphasizing those factors necessary for growth, enabling us to produce a bountiful harvest of fruit. We are to exercise humility and impartiality, taking particular effort . . .
Have you ever wondered what 'all in all' means in relation to God and Christ? This term has great significance to us today.
Joseph Baity, stressing the need to strengthen the bonds of our fellowship with each other, suggests that in the past, the Church of God may have focused too intensely on elusive esoteric principles and neglected the basics, such as developing solid relati. . .
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). . .
Joe Baity, graphically describing the many life-destroying elements of our current culture, emphatically declares that mankind is destroying itself by rejecting God's law. One of the major tools Satan uses to upend us is the unresolved weaknesses and sins . . .
It is easy to follow in Satan's footsteps, courting his daughter Envy, reaping the disquiet which accompanies her. Envy comes from pushing God from our thoughts.
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.
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. . .
Persecution involves a wide spectrum, ranging from torture, physical beating, social excommunication, imprisonment and death. Our boldness should match Paul's.
While the other accounts of Jesus' trial and crucifixion seem to show passivity, John shows Jesus totally in charge, purposefully and courageously moving.
The shepherd and door analogies in John 10 depict the close relationship of Jesus with His flock as the security and stability provided by His protection.
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