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.
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.
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 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.
As members of Christ's body, we must function for the good of the whole body, not competing with other parts. We must continually function as a son of God.
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.
Each member of Christ's body must choose to function in the role God has ordained to produce unity, emulating Christ in striving to please the Father
God alone chooses the servants through whom He works His will. Sometimes the rationale God uses for selecting His vessels defies worldly wisdom.
God is not the author of confusion, but throughout the scriptures has used a consistent pattern of appointing leaders over His called-out ones.
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!
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.
It is foolish and pointless to use the same charm, social skills, and duplicity toward God as we use to deceive others and, sadly, even ourselves.
Oftentimes, searching for the truth brings us into conflict with others' beliefs, causing separations between brethren in the church of God.
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 …
We must separate ourselves from the world, sacrificing ourselves to God's purpose to become at one with God, waiting for Him to unify us to others.
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.
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.
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.
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 …
A major responsibility for the fracturing of the WCG rested with the leadership, based on a philosophy of authoritarianism Christ warned against.
God's call to learn from the ant does not teach us to yield to a hierarchical system, but to participate in a community with the goal of edification.
God's hand was definitely involved in the scattering of the church. We should respond by growing and preparing ourselves for His Kingdom.
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 …
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 …
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 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.
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.
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.
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 …
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 …
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.
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 …
God designed the sermon of Hebrews to motivate God's people, who are going through the same turmoil as those living in 65 AD, facing persecution from society.
Considering the events and trends exhibited in the modern church of God, will it follow the disastrous example of early second-century Christianity?
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.
Neglecting to feed the flock has been detrimental to preaching the gospel to the world. Because of neglect, members succumb to feeling insignificant.
Have you ever wondered what 'all in all' means in relation to God and Christ? This term has great significance to us today.
Paul, using the body analogy in I Corinthians, focuses on the need for unity and inter-relatedness by concentrating upon sound doctrine.
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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.
To preach to the world and ignore a disintegrating flock is like a husband and wife paying attention to other people while the family is falling apart.
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 …
The largest portion of the great commission demands that the lion's share of time, money, or energy ought to be invested in feeding the flock.
The pressures and conflicts that the church has undergone is part of the spirit of the time that has embroiled religious and political institutions worldwide.
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 …
Christian fellowship is more than just getting together on a regular basis; it is sharing with each other on a higher, spiritual level.
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.
Satan champions self-opinion and mob behavior. God's church has never been immune to division because each member has only part of the truth.
Pride condemned Satan to a fate of manipulating rather than serving. This presumptuous self-centered trait creates disunity and ultimately destruction.
Herbert Armstrong, while not infallible or sinless, nevertheless served as the custodian of the truths of God, occupying the role of God's messenger.
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.
A true, godly minister does not draw people to himself, but instead to God. Not placing Christ at the forefront will lead to carnal-mindedness.
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 …
Romans 12-16 provide a checklist for overcoming and promoting positive relationships, developing tender affection. We are mutually dependent upon one another.
The Pentecost offering of two loaves contains the idea of difference, while the New Testament Pentecost in Acts 2 shows differences being divinely overcome.
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.
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 …
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. …
Jesus selected disciples with disparate temperaments, unifying them to accomplish a steadfast purpose. God disperses a wide diversity of spiritual gifts.
Paul teaches that individual overcoming in lowliness of mind, putting others ahead of self, leads to the whole body being strengthened.
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 …