IS C-H-R-I-S-T DIVIDED?
Is Christ divided into divisions-called splits, splinters, and
spinoffs all representing Him?
Paul asked the question to the church is Christ divided, I Cor.1:13? Paul in the same chapter corrected the brethren by saying in verse 10 , "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." What is the same mind that Paul was writing about? It was not a mind of the flesh that they manifested, but a mind of the spirit and a judgment by the spirit. Church people today call their church divisions ---splits, splinters, and spinoffs, because these names to them don't have the ring of sin or separation from Christ, His spirit and His true spiritual body as do the word divisions. Church divisions are formed by following different minds of the flesh and not by following and being joined together of the same mind and that being the mind of Jesus Christ and His Spirit. The mind of the Spirit will bring brethren to be perfectly joined together to speak the same thing and be of the same judgment. The mind of the flesh will divide bringing about what the church people call splits, splinters, and spinoffs each following their own individual fleshly mindness not the Spirit of Christ.
Is Jesus Christ the Head and Lord in
all the divisions of the divided organizations, of all the un-united bodies,
broken off splits, and splinter groups calling themselves the churches
of God and Jesus Christ, I Cor. 1:13? Does Christ d-i-v-i-d-e
Himself and His Spirit into different groups, hierarchies, and bodies,
with all believing different doctrines and teachings, and He
recognizes them all as His true spiritual body? Is the Holy Spirit of Christ
leading and empowering all the different splits, groups, organizations, and
bodies that are believing different doctrines of Christ about salvation,
grace, law, what is sin, repentance, The Ten Commandments, being born again,
divorce-remarriage, judging and discipline, love , faith, mercy, disfellowship,
God's calendar and Holy Days, keeping Holy or profaning God's Sabbath, church
government, the Gospel and the church's commission?
On and on goes the divisions in the churches of God, and all of them are not speaking the same thing, nor are they perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment, I Cor. 1:10. Is Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit divided and is He in all these organizations calling themselves the churches of God? Five foolish virgins (who thought they knew Jesus Christ), also went forth to meet Christ the bridegroom, and were told by Christ Himself, that He did not know them, Mat. 25:1,11-12 and the door was shut to them. These five foolish virgins were divided from Christ and did not know it. All doctrines and teachings of Christ and His Word have and are being opened up for ridicule, judgment, and doubt as to their value and importance in salvation. If Jesus Christ was here speaking in person today, speaking on the authority of His own Word, and Doctrine, would anyone really listen???
Did Christ say He came to bring peace or division to the earth? Christ said, "Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven." Any member of any family that confesses Him--Jesus Christ before men, before their own family, and desires Christ to be in him, to lead him, and desires to do his will through the power of God's Spirit, will be persecuted by his own family and even associated church members. This person is unafraid to talk and speak of Christ freely and openly as his Lord and Master--and worships not some Mr. (Master) man and his personality, but has come to understand, that to worship Christ will bring persecution, division and hostility from one's own family, Mat. 10:32-38. It stands to reason that the same thing would be true in the family of believers of those who confess that Christ lives in them and that He (CHRIST) is their head who guides them daily, and they obey Him and His commandments in their spiritual entirety. They study and obey His doctrines.
These true believers will also be rejected by the rest of a church family who put their trust-faith in a man and who rely on men not led by Christ to guide them in life.These true believers will always be in conflict with those who confess to follow Christ, but who in reality follow masters of men they call misters who compromise Christ 10 commandments, and who also teach the doctrines and commandments of men, and teach Christ's doctrine is only important as it pertains to their policies, doctrines, and commandments of their organizational and hierarchical government in salvation. Understanding this teaching of Christ gives one understanding why there are divisions in the fleshly minded body of the church who profess to be the spiritual body and mind of Christ.
Many professed church leaders and members are quick to bring up and cite the churches of Revelation 2&3 as proof of division and sin in the churches, and that all church people must accept sin and division as a normal in the body of Christ. However, there is one "minor" point that many evidently consider minor that weighed very heavy on those churches then and the churches today, who think sin and division is to be accepted as normal. That point is this: Christ gave a warning to them then, and for all churches today that many in all those churches needed to repent of sins that were pointed out by Christ Himself, and unless they did repent, they would not be in written in the book of life. The same applies today for all churches. Sin divides believers and rightly so, because Christ is not in anyone or a church body where sin is being accepted as normal body functioning, and any church people today that accept sin and divisions within the body will not be in the Lamb's book of life.
Anyone's faith who transgresses and abides not in Christ's doctrine is a repudiation of Jesus Christ as Lord of their life. It says in II John 9-11, "Whosoever transgresseth and does not abide in His doctrine does not have the Father or the Son--Jesus Christ, living in them, and if any Christ professing member brings not this doctrine, receive him not into your home or fellowship." This is a serious and heavy warning and commandment of Christ, given by John that will produce separation, yes, division commanded by Christ as a disfellowship in the family of professed believers, by having to separate or withdraw oneself from a sinning person or a body of sinning believers. As a group, they will disfellowship and send away anyone transgressing Christ's doctrine, who is not abiding in His doctrine. If it is only one person upholding Christ's doctrine He will have to withdraw Himself from a sinning group who are puffed up and see no sin. This is a far cry from what some are teaching, that Christ's Doctrine is not important and are trying to unify churches on the foundation of fellowship, tolerance and respect for each others' differing beliefs?
These same church people try to support their erroneous teaching with Romans the 14th Chapter. Is Romans 14 about God's law and Christ's established Doctrine? NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT, this chapter is about one's freedom and right to choose optional personal areas (areas of one's life that is not governored by God's law), of worship or established by doctrine of Christ, because if Romans 14 was about minimizing doctrinal requirements of salvation, and not to judge your brother based on the Doctrine and laws of Jesus Christ, it would surely contradict Christ and His Doctrine in II John 9-11, as well as many other scriptures. Is Christ divided from His Doctrine? NO, only those professing to have Him living in them but who do lie, Rev. 3:9, Rev, 2:9, and do not what He says (obeys not His doctrine and law), Luke 8:21. These are the ones that are divided (separated) from Him, and from His doctrine, and from His spiritual body.
Is Jesus Christ Lord of one's life and fellowship group, or is man lord of one's life and his fellowship group, through his church government hierarchy, or central authority of men?Does a member of Christ's spiritual body, who has God the Father and Jesus Christ living and working within him, have to have some man, organization or hierarchy of men directing and guiding the Holy Spirit of Christ in that member's life to produce, fruit and do Christ's work? Absolutely not! God the Father seeks ones that will worship Him in Spirit and truth, John 4:23-24, I John 2:27-29 and that is not through a man.
John 4:23-24---But the hour comes, and now is , when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. I John 2:27---But the anointing (God's Holy Spirit) which you have received of him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in Him.
Paul said, "Man following, worshipping of the flesh, and glorying in the flesh, brings about envying, strife and division," I Cor. 3:3-4. These are sins of death, Romans 8:6, if one does not repent of them. Man-following and worshipping of church organizations, church hierarchies and the ministry, by putting them before or in place of Jesus Christ and His Word, is idolatry, and of the world--the worship of the arm of flesh instead of Jesus Christ, I John 2:16-17. Men of the world have to have organizations and government hierarchies with power, authority and organizational structure with rules to control, guide, lead and to unify it's members along a structural, physical, fleshly, path. Why, because they either have not the spirit of God or they are not being led by that Spirit. Christ says, "It shall not be so of His true church," Mat. 20:25-27. There is a FALSE TEACHING that you have to be led by a church government to be saved and this is a lie. Jesus Christ leads directs, corrects, convicts, inspires, and unifies His true church by His Holy Spirit--it's enabling Power and influence, through the path of His Ten Commandments, which is the path of love and real unity, and not by an organization or hierarchy, or a one man leadership, with all of it's structure, which only stifles and squelches the working of God's Holy Spirit in one's life, and hinders one from being born again-to be totally led by God's Holy Spirit.
Man and his fleshly ministry, and it's ruling power has set many false, dividing doctrines in church organizations, based on and inspired by his fleshly desires of money, unlawful sex and power. These are those fleshly desires that Christ speaks of through John in I John 2:16, "The desire of the flesh," money---- greed for the tithes belonging to God and His work, and the receiving of the minister's pay check at the expense of standing up for truth and doctrine; "the lust of the eyes," unlawful sex---- watering down and rejecting the Doctrine of Jesus Christ to permit divorce, remarriage and even fornication; and "the pride of life," the desire for power ----the desire to be exalted, possess power through false doctrine (teaching that the church hierarchy is of Christ) by this gaining power over the church and brethren, living by man's power rather than God's power through His Spirit. This is not of the Father, but of the world and Satan. This brings apostasy and judgment upon ministers, and churches and causes the sins of division, splits, strife, hatred, and confusion in the churches of God and Christ. What man says and sets as doctrine through his own power of preaching, his tape and literature junk food diet, becomes the commandments, law and policy of the church instead of Christ's Doctrine and teachings, and continually separates-divides the church people that are not being led by Jesus Christ. Is Jesus Christ really your Lord and Master, or do you look to and call some man "your Lord and Master" (Mr. for short). Christ says, call no man your master, or Mr., for short for Christ is your Master, Mat. 23:10-13.
Today's churches consist of people of different loyalties and saviors, serving different lords. These churches and ministers quote Heb. 10:25, but never verse 26, about compromising with sin. They preach that church people must not forget the assembling together for fellowship and unity, even at the cost and expense of Christ's Doctrine, or minimizing His Doctrine and on-going presumptuous sins in their midst. Paul makes it crystal clear in I Cor. 5:9-12, that every Christian should disfellowship, not keep company with church people worshipping the flesh--sins of the flesh, such as, "fornicators" unlawful marriages and sexual affairs, "covetous," (working after the flesh and striving after the lucrative market of God's tithes and offerings), "idolaters," (working to be the lords, masters and saviors to have power over church people), "extortioners," extorting people's money and God's money--His tithes and offerings to use for private use of building one's own house, organization, or empire, instead of preaching the Gospel and building God's spiritual temple, Haggai 1:2-11. How can anyone or any church body expect to have unity with Christ or with His true body who have people of their own body committing and continuing in these sins of the flesh--which are minds of the flesh, transgressing God's Ten Commandments, including the profaning of God's Sabbath commandment, by working or having someone to work for them on the Sabbath, or doing one's own pleasure on the Sabbath?
Today's churches strive for unity and fellowship with Jesus Christ, based on their own standard of righteousness, not God's righteousness! Christ and Paul both warned the Churches of Corinth and Rev. 2 & 3, that there were some to many of them who needed to repent and overcome their on-going sins if they expected to be in God's Kingdom, and to keep Christ from blotting their name from the book of life, I Cor. 6:9-10, Rev. 3:5, meaning, they had been saved but they were about to loose their salvation if they didn't repent of their sins! People in today's churches do not really believe Christ when He likewise tells them to repent of their sins, of transgressing His Ten Commandments, or they will perish! They believe Christ doesn't really mean what He says, and is all mercy without judgment, and will look over their sins as they have been led to believe He did with the earlier churches of Rev. and Corinth and their sins. They have been led to believe a perverted teaching of Romans, the 7th chapter, that Paul was fleshly-minded and not spiritually minded, who lived, desiring the things of the flesh, rather than the things of the spirit! They lie and deceive people!
People have been programmed and led to believe they must belong to a man and his organization, called churches, to be unified in Christ. They have been led to believe doctrine is not important, they teach to minimize sin, and spiritualize away His Ten Commandments. Woe be unto all that continue in that fleshly frame of mind, and will not repent and obey His Doctrine, II John 9-10! Time is extremely short for anyone to escape what is about to be sprung on this nation and whole world! An extreme time of testing and death is soon to come on the whole world, Rev. 3:10, because the world is totally deceived and confused about Jesus Christ, His purpose and His Doctrine, Rev. 12:9. Christ and His true body of believers are not divided, only those who are following the flesh of men and their fleshly minds of deception.
Our Personal Experience
Our personal experience in understanding about church divisions is this: Christ is not divided, and His body is not composed of divisions, which church people call such names as splits, splinters, and spinoffs, which nonetheless are divisions but of man and not of Christ. Jesus Christ is not divided in His Body, nor can He be disfellowshipped from His true Spiritual Body that look to Him.
We would like to use our own personal experience to make this point clear and plain as we can about divisions in the church called and known as splits, splinters, spinoffs, and the disfellowshipped, in relationship to the body of Jesus Christ.
We (my wife and I) were at a difference of understanding almost from the very beginning of our association with a body of believers who profess to be "the"true body of Jesus Christ . This difference of understanding was in regard to who we are to serve, and who is our Master and Lord. This became quite obvious and clear shortly after being in their fellowship, and after a number of trials we had to endure and overcome by being associated with them in their fellowship.
However, my wife and I were greenhorns to the say the least, babes desiring truth, and knew little or nothing of the workings of a church body, with no expierence from any other church association whatsoever, except for a few months with one when we first got out of the military service in 1956. However, in our years of association with this body, who professed to be "the" true body of Christ, we learned what is God's true way of righteousness, not by their examples and our associstions with them, but by our studying and obeying His Word and comparing their actions with Christ's Word. This church body's wicked leadership displayed a sinful way and horrible example of dealing with it's members. We came to understand that this hierarchical body was being led by Satan to destroy male spiritual leadership and to belittle and put down any member who questioned their "church government procedures or anything they did or said." Instead of edifying it's members, it destroyed their faith in Christ. We had to decide who was our Shepherd and our Head-----was it Jesus Christ and His leadership through His Holy Spirit or was it to be man and his church organizational body's leadership and it's spirit following the flesh, which is today referred to as it's hierarchy. At that time we didn't even know what was a hierarchy, but we did know that we could not follow those ministers making up their hierarchy.
Our decision was made and made manifest to them, through the persecution of their church hierarchy brought against us, that we were going to serve Jesus Christ and He was our Head, and we were determined to serve Him, come what may. Because of this decision to follow Jesus Christ, and our desiring for Him to live in us through His Spirit, we were no longer welcome in their fellowship, and they soon disfellowshipped us from their church hierarchy and body. The "minister" who disfellowshipped us, and who represents their leadership, their hierarchy, and their church, is only a part that represents their whole church government mindset, and he had their backing when he disfellowshipped my wife, my children, and me over the phone. No eye brows were raised from any of their higher ups, and no doubt many of the ministers that had been here in this area and had persecuted us before him were no doubt happy by their comments of this disfellowship decision, at last this spiritual thorn was now out of their fleshly side. This is because most of the ministers before him also persecuted us and were of the same mindset, to rid anyone opposing their fleshly hierarchical leadership, and whoever to them followed and represented Christ's leadership were to be put out of their body. They continually preached that Jesus Christ (which Christ) only worked through their church hierarchy. These are men and women who professed to be "the true body "of Christ, but do lie and are in great deception, and fit in well with what Paul said of false ministers in II Cor. 11: 13-15. We believe we have opposed and overcame the synagogue of Satan. People who say they are Jews (Christians) but are not.
Most all the ministers that we had association with this body, are ministers of men not of Christ, and of another spirit being whose objective is to the divide God's people from Christ to conquer and to control them. All of these men call themselves ministers of Jesus Christ but deceive, lie and do not the truth. These men followed a man and his hierarchy and it's money trail and wherever it led them and whatever it led them to do.
After we were disfellowshipped, we both knew we were still in and members of the body of Christ, and He was still in us, and He had not forsaken us, and that we were a part of His spiritual body however scattered it may be. We were not disfellowshipped because of any law or commandment breaking of God and Jesus Christ, but disfellowshipped because we would not bow to their church hierarchy and their policies and commandments. So by our faith and confidence in Christ and the understanding of His word we both knew we were still in the Church of God and Jesus Christ, and that this disfellowship of us from their hierarchy and church body of the flesh was not from Jesus Christ but of men following their fleshly wicked ways. We are both now still an active part of His Spiritual Body of His true believers doing His work as He has commanded us to do; and His body, wherever they are and however scattered they may be, are doing the same.
So from this personal experience and the trials we both have experienced, we both know that we are not divided from but still in His body of true believers wherever they are, and however scattered they may be. We both know we are not a split, splinter, or a spinoff or an independent part of any such division so named. Any who recognizes that they are a split which is a division, are not of the true body of Jesus Christ because Christ's true body is not divided not split nor independent of Him as they like to call it but are a growing and vibrant part of Him.
Paul asked the question is Christ divided? Meaning that He is not divided---only fleshly men and women are divided or separated from Christ, who are following men of the flesh. And of those church people of Paul's day, Paul said they were still carnal ,meaning fleshly minded, I Cor. 1:13,10 and I Cor. 3:1-4, and would have to repent of their fleshly mindiness or perish, Rom. 8:6.
We all should know that at the beginning of our Christian life and baptism that we all started off being babes still of the flesh, but after a number of years and the spiritual growth that should have taken place in us, we all should become spiritually minded, fully born of the spirit, and not babes of the flesh any longer. This was what Paul was teaching to the church at Corinth. He also taught that to be fleshly minded, to continue to be of the flesh was death, Rom. 8:6. So all new begotten babes of Christ who begin in the flesh must kill the fleshly mindiness and take on the spiritual mindiness, or they will die and not inherit the kingdom of God. It will be impossible for anyone who looks to the guidance and leadership of a church hierarchy rather than the leadership of Jesus Christ and His guidance through His Holy Spirit to be able to grow and develop fully as a born again Son of God.
So all the talk and discussion about splits, splinters and spinoffs is nothing less than divisions from the Spiritual Body of Christ. We are saying as His Word is saying that Christ is not divided, nor is any of His spirit-led members that make up His True Spiritual Body because if they are divided from Him they are living by the sins of the flesh and need to repent to be restored to and be an active part of His Spiritual Body or they will perish.