Division—how well do we understand?
(Narrated by the editor—Click here to Listen)
Division is something that most people can understand a little about, but never really grasp the depth of it as it is given in the Bible. Recently I posted a mini bite on the COG audio page that was simply titled “division”. Since posting that audio, I realize that it might be misleading to some who do not ever study their Bible in order to really know the truth. This article is based on some of those same points but with much more added, intending to go on beyond the short mini bite of Scriptural information that was posted. I have, since this article, removed that min-bite. Some have a totally foreign concept of division and confusion, according to what the Bible reveals, and their ignorance shows they need far more clarity. We all need some clarity on many Biblical points, but ignorance of truth can cause confusion and division, even among family members. In the religious realm of today, which is considered as “Christianity”, many people get caught up in the ideas and traditional teachings of men and forget to check that with what God actually reveals in His Word. This divides then on points of biblical truth. There are many of these truthful points that are confusing and cause division among people who lack a proper understanding of truth. Sometimes the most well-meaning people even in or associated with the COG and even among many others who may consider themselves Christian, do not really understand what real division of the Bible is based on. So here at the beginning, let me just ask this question —“Did Christ ever cause division among the worldly”? Think about that for a moment. Does even believing on Christ in our world today cause division among millions of people, right here in the USA? Honestly speaking, YES it does! Simply because the majority do not have the truth of Scripture imbedded in their minds! Some may quickly have this response—“well Christ was the reason for Christianity, so no, Christ did not ever cause division”. The thinking is that division goes against true Christianity—and that is true but from the opposite viewpoint that many in this world may have.
(It is true that true Christians are not to be divided on truth of Scripture and what it reveals about the doctrines of Christ—but the supposed Christianity of today’s world is divided and confused on what Christ actually taught. This is a proven fact when the Words of the Bible are considered.) Now that very statement could get us into a discussion on what true Christianity really is—but that is not the purpose of this article. (See article titled Christianity for more on that subject, found here on this articles page.)
Others will say in agreement that a true Christian will never or at least try to never cause division. However, a true Christian is already divided against all of the false ideas that are not really Christian nor based on Biblical truth. Let us take this just one step further and ask this additional question—did Christ ever cause anyone to be confused—or cause confusion in people by things He might have said. (For that matter, this should apply to anyone seeking to be a true Christian and by what they might say concerning their understanding of Biblical truth to the non-believer.)
Now some; especially in the COG may remember 1Cor.14:33. This is from the ASV and It says; “for God is not (a God) of confusion, but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints,” and therefore conclude that Jesus never confused anyone either. Some seem to think that confusion also is a type of division and there is to be no division in the COG! This understanding is only based on part of the truth from the perspective of what a true Christian should be learning from the Bible. We can all get confused from time to time, even while we are learning truth. There is so much more to be learned about this, from what the Bible actually reveals! So let us examine both these points from the scriptural perspective in this short article, and please look up and read any scriptural reference given—not just going on our own ideas and ideas of other men, or even the things that pop into our minds about these Bible subjects, on the spur of the moment.
Let us begin with Christ explaining a point of truth. Turn with me to John 3—Here we see a conversation between Christ and Nicodemus. John 3:3 Christ said to him; "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." What did Nicodemus say in return to this? Was he confused by this—let us read his response; V.4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" Read this in context from your own Bible to find more of the explanation—but Christ explained more to him and then Nicodemus asked this question. V.9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him," How can these things be?" He was not only confused about this born again concept but he was also in doubt because he did not understand what Christ was explaining nor how it comes about. Many today are still very confused and lack understanding on that point as well as what we are covering in this article. If you want a little better understanding on this subject, then read the article titled “Born Again” and look up and read the scriptures given. Now let us get to the answer about the question of Christ causing division? Did He ever? The answer to this is simple and very easy, and all that is required is to read and believe your Bible.
Let us once again let the scriptures answer the question. In the Gospel of Luke we can quickly find the answer. Luke 12:51-53 Christ says; “Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. (There it is from Christ’s own Words! Going on He says;) 52 For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. (If there is only three, the principle is the same—two against one—but it can also be one on one as we see next.) 53 Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law." (This division being spoken of is dealing with truth and error—those not converted are usually divided against those who are clinging to truth.)
In addition to this statement, Christ gives this to His disciples, which would be even more so in our time today and among the true believers and first fruits in the COG; John 16:1-4 "These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues; (Places of religious meetings) yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. Why would anyone go to this extreme? V.3 And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. 4 But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them.” (NKJ) Satan will turn family members against one another and COG members against one another, when and where he can—every time he can—and he is doing this today. This is why we need to constantly be studying the Bible and seeking the Holy Spirit to guide our minds—then strive to love one another as Christ loved each one of us, by giving Himself for us to be reconciled to God.
The truth of the matter is that Satan the devil is the god of this world, (and it’s religions) according to 2Cor.4:4 and the prince of the power of the air according to Eph.2:2, who will stir up the mind of the unconverted to become hostile against the truth and become an enemy of those who speak the truth. Serious persecutions are coming for those who will hold fast to the truths of the Bible, because they are divided from those holding the falsehoods of this world. This is common knowledge among those who study the Bible and already know this truth. To make more of this point, Satan is also the influence that tries to cause confusion and division so that the truth of the Bible will not be understood. The carnal mind will not normally go to the side of Biblical truth, as this passage makes clear. Rom 8:5-8 “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (NKJ) One must strive to become converted and have the Holy Spirit living in them to begin to conquer the confusions and divisions of Satan the devil! Rom 8:9 “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.” Add in this, also from Christ; John 14:17 “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you (His disciples) know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”--- and that came to be on the day of Pentecost in 31 AD. John 16:13-14 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”
Christ said that a country or even a house divided against itself will not stand (Matt.12:25) and I have witnessed this to be the truth many times in my life. To overcome the tendency to get confused and be divided over truth and its understanding, one must repent and become converted and have the Holy Spirit to guide their minds into the right understanding of any point of truth. This must be desired deeply and sought after diligently for any amount of success, then the truth of scriptures has to be believed. Scripture tells us that; "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” (1 Cor.2:9-10)
Most people do not realize that Christ lives in those who are truly converted, by the power of the Holy Spirit and opens their mind to truth when that truth is diligently sought. The apostle Paul recorded this; Gal 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (KJV) There are way too many, even in the ministry today, who seem to have forgotten this point of truth. People who rail against or consciously belittle and disrespect a true Christian over points of truth also is reviling Christ who lives in them, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The only way to properly understand and to overcome division and confusion on any point of truth is to be yielded to let the Holy Spirit lead us (Rom.8:14) to that truth and then believe what the Bible itself reveals. Man makes the mistake of interpreting the Bible for themselves and will then mix truth and error at best. Most of this is to maintain a following and to keep that revenue coming in from the people who do follow. This approach can and will at some point become confusing and can start to cause division, even among those in the COG realm, as we see today in this end time era of Laodicea. Division and confusion, based on Biblical truth is normally caused by those who do not understand nor do they even read the Bible on a daily basis. There are also those who want people to follow the Bible only as they understand it and do not let the Scriptures interpret Scriptures. This, sad to say, is also happening among some of those who claim to be the Body of Christ, the COG, and it is very scattered today because of this confusion and division and the lack of understanding about it, based on what the Bible reveals.
(This article was produced by the editor of TCOGMSO, with the hope of encouraging you to study your Bibles in order to know that you know the truth and to avoid confusion and division based on truth.)