Sunday, August 25, 2013
Is The Body Of Christ Divided? Part 1
John 10:30 I and my Father are one.
John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
John 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
Malachi 2:10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?
Mark 12:32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:
Romans 3:30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
1 Corinthians 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
Ephesians 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Almighty Father, as I present this message to your children, may we all be enlightened by the Holy Spirit for the understanding of this message in Jesus name. Take all the glory Lord in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Brethren, I have always wondered and became very curious as a child of God, thinking if the Lord Jesus Christ, whom we Christians through the various denominational practices and beliefs claim to serve, obey, reverence, adore and worship and claimed to follow His Footsteps and teachings is actually the same God. I have however finds out that He is just the same God Deuteronomy 4:39.
My curiosity is simply borne out of the fact that, the differences between church A and church B in administration, beliefs and practices is not the bible because, the word of God is an inspired message 2 Peter 1:21 speaking the SAME THING to different people in different forms and ways Mark 16:16. The bible does not speak different things at the same time John 1:1.
It is not also Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, as He (Jesus) had instructed us (the church) to do as He had taught us John 13:15. Jesus gave us the commandment – to love Him and to keep His commandments John 14:15, 21; 15:10.
Likewise, it is not the Holy Spirit idea that church G and church H will be doing different things because Jesus said “he (Holy Spirit) will guide you into all truth” John 16:13, regarding obedience to the word of God as it is clearly stated, “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit” 1 Corinthians 12:11. The Holy Spirit has three (3) major assignments and that is exactly what He is carrying out today John 16:7-11.
Please, don’t misunderstand my points, as I am not dwelling on the Gift(s) of the Holy Spirit here.
What I have however discovered is that, it is the HUMAN IMPUTED laws, beliefs, doctrines and practices (outside the word of God) put in place by an individual founder of a particular church, to govern his own members, using his kind of beliefs 2 Timothy 4:3. This they do in connivance with the elders and leaders of that particular church, that have resulted not just in the proliferation of churches, denominational and nondenominational Christian organizations today, but also the architect of man’s WILFUL DISOBEDIENCE TO THE WORD OF GOD 2 Timothy 4:10. At this juncture, we must realize that God and His word (bible) are inseparable, be it the Old Testament or the New Testament John 6:63, 14:10.
Jesus Christ said “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations; Teaching them TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS whatsoever I have commanded you” Matthew 28:19-20. Jesus also said “Go ye into all the world, AND PREACH THE GOSPEL to every creature” Mark 16:15. He equally said “YE SHALL BE WITNESSES UNTO ME both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” Acts 1:8.
Brethren, in considering the above scriptures, we can clearly and confidently declare that, what Jesus asked us to do is to preach the message of the kingdom to every creature, not the planting of DENOMINATIONAL CHURCHES as it is obtainable right now. This therefore calls for the reevaluation of the aim, purpose and objective of establishing the church by Jesus Christ in the first place.
If we Christians must be sincere with ourselves today, we will discover that the level of willful disobedience to the word of God, lawlessness, waywardness and ungodliness in the world and particularly in the church of Jesus Christ, is the direct outcome of the divided body of Christ by the denominational churches. This is the bane of today's church because, the original purpose of Jesus Christ establishing the church, which was to make disciples of all nations Acts 1:8, have been defeated and until the individual organ of this body (denominations) begin to function exactly what it was created to perform, the body of Christ (church) should forget anything called UNITY. How can the church even dream of being united when we (denominational churches) do not practice nor obey the bible with the same spirit?
Although I lack the theological prowess to explain the concept of the church but, I don't think I need more than the bible to prove my stand here as well as the Holy Spirit my guide John 16:13. This is so because, the bible declared 'for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life 2 Corinthians 3:6. Therefore, I should be able to understand the word of God by the Spirit of God Matthew 24:15.
Now, in considering the stand of our Master, Jesus Christ, who actually owns the church Matthew 16:18, over the unity that existed between Himself and the Father, He prayed that the disciples will also continue in that same unity, after He (Jesus) might have died, buried, resurrected and ascended to heaven John 17:11. Even though it was Jesus that prayed the oneness prayer for His disciples, they were actually in one accord in one place after the ascension of Jesus Christ to heaven, and were finally baptized with the Holy Spirit in the Upper Room prayer meeting Acts 2:1-4.
Shortly afterwards, as the numbers of the disciples were now increased and continued in the oneness service, it then resulted in the breaking of bread with the brethren from house to house Acts 2:46. We now discover further the strength that this unity gathered among the people, in taming the division and murmuring which was about rearing its ugly head up to scatter the Apostles Acts 6:1-5. No wonder an adage declares 'there is strength in unity.
As the church increased in strength and numbers, a new trend to cover the whole world in teaching the truth to every creature emerged but with the SAME MESSAGE. The early Apostles particularly Paul, took several Missionary journeys than any other Apostle to preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. He sometimes faced the danger of shipwreck Acts 27:14, he was stoned Acts 14:19, he was imprisoned Acts 16:23-24, he was plotted against to be killed Acts 9:24-25, he was persecuted by the Jews Acts 13:50, he left his professional career and became a prisoner for Jesus Christ Philemon 1:1,9 among other things to pursue the instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, Paul had to declare in 2 Corinthians 11:22-31 that:-
22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.
23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?
30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.”
His Missionary journeys saw him crisscrossing countries and continents with great fervour to preach the gospel message. After completing his journeys, you will see him again paying visits to the same people again encouraging them to continue in the faith Philemon 1:2, or sending representatives to encourage the brethren Philippians 2:29, Colossians 4:10.
In all these things, denominational churches were never part of the teachings of the Apostles instead, you will hear of the church in such a person's house Colossians 4:15. This was the same case with John the Beloved during the revelation in the Isle of Patmos in Asia Revelation 1:4. The reference of the angels in the seven churches of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodiceans, were addressed as 'to the angel of the church' Revelation 2 and 3. There was nothing like denomination of any sort when the message(s) of their individual work were been passed across.
Therefore, how come today that, instead of preaching the gospel as our Lord Jesus Christ had instructed, it is rather the preaching of ‘our church, my church, our pastor, denomination’, etc. Where is the teaching of the message of Jesus Christ to the world?
As I bring this message to a close, let’s consider some vital issues and examine critically, if what the various denominational churches are practicing today is geared towards the same goal and purpose.
CONSIDER THESE QUESTIONS:
1. Is the God of all the so called Christians the same God?
2. Are all denominational churches serving the same Jesus Christ?
3. Is heaven one and the same for all supposed Christians?
4. Did the Lord Jesus Christ give different teachings and truth for the different countries and continents of the world?
5. Are you sure the word of God (bible) have the same principles for all the believers in the whole world?
6. Is the final judgment going to be based on individual denominational church doctrines or, on the infallible word of God?
7. Do you truly love Jesus with all your heart?
Should your answer to the questions above be on the affirmative then, just know that the denominational churches as it is practiced today, is in great ERROR.
As I prepare to conclude this message in part 2, we shall be examining some few denominations around the world today, what they believe, practice and uphold in their congregations.
May the Holy Spirit interpret the details of this message to your hearts in Jesus name. Amen. God bless you all.
Lugard Osakpamwan Ekhator
End-Time Trumpeters: The Lord Is Coming Soonlugardosas@gmail.com