Church Unity Despite the Spirit of the World

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

The unity of God's church does not derive from organizational expertise, the conformity of ecumenism, or the tolerance for evil, but from the family model.


The Pursuit of Unity

CGG Weekly by Levi W. Graham

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 and Division: The Blessing and the Curse (Part One)

'Ready Answer' by Charles Whitaker

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.


Unity (2006)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Like the symphony orchestra, only as an instrumentalist submits to the leader, working with the other members of the ensemble, can unity be accomplished.


Will the Church of God Be Thrown Down? (Part Two)

CGG Weekly by David C. Grabbe

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.


Unity and Unleavened Bread

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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 novel diversion. Sin automatically separates us from God. The key to …


Unity (Part 6): Ephesians 4 (C)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Unity has to come from the inside out, with God raising a leader which His people, having their minds opened by His Spirit, will voluntarily submit to.


Unity

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

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, as Jesus is unified with the Father. If we aren't unified with our …


Unity (Part 3): Ephesians 4 (A)

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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 rejection of the doctrines God's servant and Apostle Herbert Armstrong had …


Unity (Part 2): God's Pattern of Leadership

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

God is not the author of confusion, but throughout the scriptures has used a consistent pattern of appointing leaders over His called-out ones.


Unity and Division: The Blessing and a Curse (Part Two)

'Ready Answer' by Charles Whitaker

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!


Letters to Seven Churches (Part Ten): The Church

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

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.


Reconciliation and Unity

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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) and carnal nature (Romans 8:7) which attempts to substitute charm and …


Truth or Unity?

Article by Staff

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 from lie?


Unity (Part 1): God and HWA

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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 splitting of the church has been the wholesale rejection of the doctrines Herbert …


Understanding Unity

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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 bringing about this unity, beginning with the marriage institution and families. …


Unity (Part 8): Ephesians 4 (E)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


Is There a True Church?

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


Unity (Part 7): Ephesians 4 (D)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


Is There a True Church?

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


The Mystery of the Church

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

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 functions of the body's parts, we realize that not one is unimportant or …


Principles of Church Leadership

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

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 structures. Realizing that God evidently determined to effect this …


The Church, One Body

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

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 approach to applying community behavior to Christian living, especially when …


God's Sovereignty and the Church's Condition (Part Two)

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

God's hand was definitely involved in the scattering of the church. We should respond by growing and preparing ourselves for His Kingdom.


Unity and Godly Diversity in One Body

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by Mark Schindler

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 a people of moral responsibility. President Adams implies that the …


It Takes a Church

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

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 like to be self-sufficient without any support from others. Consequently …


Unity (Part 5): Ephesians 4 (B)

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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 boredom will systematically destroy the faith once delivered. Through the …


The Source of Church Characteristics (Part One)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

The seven churches of Revelation 2-3 all existed simultaneously and the characteristics of five of them will apparently be extant at the return of Christ.


Purpose-Driven Churches (Part 4)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

Outcome-based religion holds large membership as its measure of success, believing that the ends justify the means. It avoids doctrine that might divide.


United With Whom?

CGG Weekly by David C. Grabbe

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.


Trends in Global Religion

'Prophecy Watch' by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

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.


A Search for Identity

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


God's Perseverance With His Saints (Part Three)

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

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 in the unity between the Father and the Son. This unity operationally …


The Need for Forgiveness

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

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 Apostle Paul's example to the Corinthians, we ought to forgive and comfort one …


Psalm 133

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Unity comes only through the initiation of God. If we would follow the suggestions in Romans 12, we could do our part in promoting unity in God's church.


Back to the First Century (Part One)

Commentary by John W. Ritenbaugh

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 disintegration of the Worldwide Church of God, it became clear that God …


A Distant Reflection

'Prophecy Watch' by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

Considering the events and trends exhibited in the modern church of God, will it follow the disastrous example of early second-century Christianity?


Glory and Oneness

Sermonette by David C. Grabbe

In Christ's Passover prayer, He states that the glory the Father had given Him had also been given to the disciples. Christ's glory is the key to being one.


Together We Stand - But on What?

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Paul, using the body analogy in I Corinthians, focuses on the need for unity and inter-relatedness by concentrating upon sound doctrine.


What Is the Work of God Now? (Part Five)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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, meaningless, and useless. The vine and branches analogy (John 15:1-6) and the body …


All in All

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

Have you ever wondered what 'all in all' means in relation to God and Christ? This term has great significance to us today.


Two Loaves, Baked with Leaven

Sermonette by David C. Grabbe

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.


Troubling the Household of God

Sermon by Mark Schindler

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 eternity of God, without experiencing any impediments or sibling rivalry among …


Of One Accord

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


Antidote For Disunity!

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by Martin G. Collins

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.


Where is God Working?

CGG Weekly by David C. Grabbe

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.


What Is the Work of God Now? (Part Three)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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. To preach to the world and ignore a disintegrating flock is like a husband …


Marriage and the Bride of Christ (Part Twelve)

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, focusing upon the covenantal relationship of marriage, reaffirms the respective roles of husband and wife, typifying the relationship between Christ and His Church. In this twelfth and concluding message in this series, the emphasis is upon unity and cohesiveness. As husband and wife are commanded to become one …


What Is the Work of God Now? (Part Two)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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 disciples"- the major focus in Matthew 28:20. The largest portion of …


The Wisdom of Men and Faith

Feast of Tabernacles Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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 function of) an unseen spirit world under the sway of the prince and power of the …


A Time To Scatter

Sermonette by David C. Grabbe

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 and a time to throw away; there is a time to embrace and a time to …


Devoting Ourselves to Fellowship

'Ready Answer' by Clyde Finklea

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 than just getting together on a regular basis; it is sharing with each …


The Importance of Doctrine

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

People who try to supplement their spiritual diet with lawlessness or other heresies risk losing their identity, and ultimately their spiritual life.


The Beatitudes, Part One: The Sermon on the Mount

'Personal' from John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


Differences of Opinion

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Martin Collins, referencing the scriptural teaching that God is not the author of confusion (I Corinthians 14:33), asserts that the breaking of God's law has brought the curses of Deuteronomy 28 onto the offspring of Jacob. Satan, the father of lies (John 8:44), champions self-opinion and mob behavior. From the very beginning, …


Grace, Faith, and Love

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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 conflict. Choosing between these two opposite poles is something we have to …


Who Was Herbert W. Armstrong?

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

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, revealing our collective, pitiable spiritual deficits. God deliberately …


Religion and Politics

CGG Weekly by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

A survey of the New Testament on the subject of politics shows that those who stoop to politics or other devious means to get their own way are the bad guys.


Themes of I Corinthians (Part 2)

Sermon by Richard T. Ritenbaugh

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 that they are sanctified members of Christ's body, which should not be …


Philippians (Part 2)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

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 for one another, exercising reasoning, discerning, and discriminating …


Checklist for Overcoming

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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 promised to hear our prayers if we humble ourselves and turn from our sins. …


Who Are We and Where Do We Fit (Part Two)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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.


Removing Bars of Contention Between Brethren

Sermon by David F. Maas

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), we must find common ground, not only with our fellow citizens, but …


A Trustworthy Relationship

Sermon by Mark Schindler

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 selfishly protect our turf, building walls of separation from our brethren. …


The Measure of Christ's Gift

Sermon by Martin G. Collins

Jesus selected disciples with disparate temperaments, unifying them to accomplish a steadfast purpose. God disperses a wide diversity of spiritual gifts.


Government (Part Seven)

Sermon by John W. Ritenbaugh

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 us to govern ourselves" Voluntary consent and mutual consent is the …


Philippians (Part 4)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

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 calling or remain alive to help the Philippians bear more spiritual …


Philippians (Part 1)

Sermon/Bible Study by John W. Ritenbaugh

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 autonomous outpost of Roman culture, more Roman than Rome, it provides a metaphor …