“So there was division among the people because of Him” (John 7:43)
The day the Lord Jesus Christ empowered and sent out the twelve apostles to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God to the various cities of Israel, He concluded His instructions to them by the following astonishing words—words that would normally cause most people to stop in their tracks and wonder if they really wanted to follow this Man or not:
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in law; and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves his son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take up his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life shall find it” (Matt. 10:34-39).
This quotation is taken from the New King James Version. The title caption they place above the passage is—“Christ brings Division.” In this case the division reaches right down into the family unit. Because of sin and rebellion in the world of mankind, the gospel of Christ often divides even family members. It is ironic that the Creator Who made the family unit, ordained its vital composition for the furtherance of the human race, and also ordained the laws concerning its perpetuation and respect, is the same One Who now warns that allegiance to Him and to His teachings takes precedence over allegiance to the family unit. In choosing to follow Christ one may receive strong opposition from his own family members. Therefore, for one to say, “I will never allow division in my family,” he would in effect be saying, “I can never be a disciple of Jesus Christ!” In confirmation to this conclusion just listen again to His words on another occasion:
“Now great multitudes were going along with Him, and he turned and said to them, ‘If anyone comes to me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:25,26).
If allegiance to Jesus Christ means anything, it means that every other allegiance, no matter how vital, takes second place—“And blessed is he who is not offended (scandalized) in Me (Christ)” (Matthew 11:6).
THE FAMILY THAT TAKES PRECEDENCE
On another occasion while Christ is preaching we have this incident take place that will indicate new and distinct family relationships:
“While he was still talking to the multitudes, behold His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. And the multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, ‘Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You.’ But he answered them, saying, ‘Who is My mother and who are My brothers?’ And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother’” (from both Matthew 12:46-50 & Mark 3:31-35 together).
In John 7:43, after saying, “So there was division among the people because of Him,” the text goes on to record the words of the officers who were sent out to apprehend Jesus, but came back empty handed—“Never man spoke as this Man” (John 7:46).
Contrary to what many people assume, Jesus Christ never stopped speaking after His message was rejected by His own people, Israel and after the Roman world refused Him as well and crucified Him. The night before He died He told His disciples, “I have yet many things to say to you…when He, the Spirit of truth is come He will guide you into all truth…He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will declare it to you” (John 16:12-15).
This particular Web site will be devoted to the further ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ for the present Age in which we live. In so doing I will be giving “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24), the truths relative to the “Family of God—the church which is Christ’s body” (Eph. 3:15 & 1:22,23), especially in those aspects of its “separation” unto Jesus Christ the Lord (II Cor. 6:14-7:1) and in an effort to proclaim “The whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). I and others represented on this site do not profess infallibility, but we do profess a joy and happiness for the privilege of sharing with you some of the beautiful truths of Jesus Christ. In so doing we will “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3)
Never built sanctuaries!
Never called a physical building a “church”!
Never incorporated with the state!
Never perpetuated denominational names!
Never had a central headquarters on earth!
Never maintained membership rolls!
Never built or conducted seminaries!
Never created missionary societies!
Never had a supreme bishop on earth!
Never used clerical titles for ministers!
Never wore clerical or religious garb!
Never allowed women preachers!
Never had earthly priests!
Never voted a person into a church office!
Never had a “Ministerial Association”!
Never had a “World Council of Churches”!
Never used ornamental crosses!
Never used statues, prayer beads or candles!
Never admired relics of cloth, wood or stone!
Never celebrated Christ’s birthday or resurrection!
Never gloried in numbers or physical wealth!
Never mixed with politics!
And, Never—Never begged for money from the general public!
Did you know?
Please do not think that the early Christians were not organized—because they most certainly were! The One Who organized the universe and set all the stars in orbit is the same One Who said, “I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (John 1:3 & Matt. 16:18). Furthermore, “The Lord added to them (the church) daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47). In Divine precision, “God set the members every one of them in the body (church), as it pleased Him” (I Cor. 12:18). About this whole composite structure it is said, “In Whom all the building fitly framed together grows unto a holy temple in the Lord…a habitation of God through the Spirit” (Eph. 2:21,22). Only a religious infidel would ever think that he could improve upon this Divine organization!
Did you know?
When a broken-hearted sinner calls upon the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation, that penitent believer is instantly “born again—For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Jn. 3:7; Rom. 6:23; 10:13). This gracious miracle of a “new creation in Christ” (II Cor. 5:17) makes one a living member of the one true church—the only church that Christ is building—“for by one Spirit are we all baptized into One body” (I Cor.12:13).
Did you know?
All true Christians are in this church. Christ alone adds the members to it, and He never makes a mistake. Today most Christians are walking in a variety of man-made churches, divided by sectarian attitudes and denominated under different names. In the Bible the apostle Paul referrs to this condition as “carnal babies…walking like natural men” (I Cor. 1:10-13 & 3:1-4). This carnality is a sad reflection upon Christ Himself (Jn. 17:21-23).
Christians are commanded by the Head of the church to “walk” in the truth that we are all “one body in Christ” (Eph.4:1-6). Most preachers will admit this is what should be done. But at the same time they all want to keep their popular traditional divisions and only have a token unity on special occasions. The early Christians were not concerned with being popular—they purposed to walk in the truth of the Word of God at any cost. Some Christians are endeavoring to walk in the truth today. How is it with you? Would you like to walk like the early Christians?
Did you know?
Some people may still ask, “What church are you a member of, or what do you call yourselves?” I like to answer this way, “If you asked the apostle Paul that question, how do you think he would answer?” Most people realize that Paul or any of the other disciples would never say they were Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, or Roman Catholics. In the Bible, there were common descriptions (not names) like, “the body of Christ, the church of God, brethren, churches of Christ, or the family of God.” They used all of them!
Did you know?
The church of Jesus Christ is incorporated? Yes, it is! The word incorporation simply means “to embody” so as to give life to an entity, be it secular or religious. The Bible reveals that Christ “embodied” His church by Himself, through the Holy Spirit. It is called, “The church which is Christ’s body” (Eph. 1:22,23). In the Latin the word “body” is corpus, from which we get the word corporation. Christ alone can and does enliven His body. This is a marvelous truth and the whole 12th chapter of I Corinthians is descriptive of God’s corporation. Any other kind of religious corporation that Caesar attempts is superficial and artificial. Consequently, the early Christians would think it to be idolatrous to allow Caesar to incorporate them religiously, either in whole or in part. In addition, the Head of the church told us to “walk” only in the “One Body” (Eph. 4:1-4).
Did you know?
We can return to original Christianity and practice the simplicity and purity of church life which was patterned for us. God wants us to, and many have done it down through the centuries, though their stories have rarely been told on the pages of traditional “Church History.”
Whenever and wherever a group of Christians begins to discover the beauty and holiness of meeting together outside of man-made religious organizations (Heb. 13:13) and under the sacred banner of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ alone (Col. 3:17), they will have a sparkling revival in their souls and an enthusiasm that is spiritual.
Like the kings of Judah of old—Asa, Jehosaphat, Hezekiah and especially Josiah—who cleaned out of their domains the paganism, idolatry and “high places,” so Christians today can clean out of their lives man-made religious idolatry and reactivate for themselves the only efficient system that Almighty God designed, which is the proper spiritual church life as exemplified by the early Christians. In so doing we should not hesitate to implement proper disciplinary judgment, which of necessity must accompany such profession of godliness (II Chron. 19:5-7 & I Cor. 5:1-13).
Did you know?
When this enthusiasm is truly heaven-inspired, unselfish and unprideful, there will once again be granted to them the privilege of functioning in a local congregation, no matter how small, as God designed it and Christ, Himself, will supply the vital life for it through the Spirit. Such Biblical Christianity cannot help but be admired by outsiders, appreciated by believers, and hated by the Devil. Success in these days of apostasy is not measured by numbers, but rather by quality—faithfulness to God.