A church can experience a unity in Christ until something happens, that will cause divisions. Divisions in the church is something that often take place. But what causes divisions? Who is responsible for divisions? What do you do, when someone causes divisions in the church? What does the Word say, about divisions in church?
The Word possesses all the elements to gain knowledge and insight in the spiritual world. That’s why it’s important to enter the spiritual world through the Word and not through your own insights and human revelations. Every insight and revelation, that a person gets, must line up with the Word. If this isn’t the case, than you should reject it. Because, the devil doesn’t present himself as a horrible monster. But the devil comes as an angel of light and he uses godly words. That means, that the devil reveals himself as ‘Jesus’. There are many people, who have received a revelation of ‘Jesus’ that has led them and their followers, astray and caused them to depart from the faith. That’s why it’s important to stay awake and watch and not believe every spirit, but to test the spirits, whether they are from God or not (1 Jo 4:1).
A revelation from the devil shall always lead to pride, haughtiness and self-righteousness and shall eventually lead to sin. We have received the Holy Spirit and the Word from God to lead and guide us into all truth, and we need Them to test everything in this life.
This also applies to everything, that happens in the church. The leaders of a church are appointed to keep the Body of Christ holy, pure and righteous. The leaders have been given the responsibility to keep and protect the souls of the church. They are the spiritual caretakers of the children of God. They are responsible, that the children of God spiritually mature and grow up into the image of Christ. So that, they shall walk after the will of God in integrity and act as sons of God, just like Jesus.
Unfortunately the focus on discipleship and developing a godly character is often missing. But the development of a godly character is more important than the signs and wonders, that follow the believers. If believers don’t develop a godly character, but are only focussed upon signs and wonders, they shall eventually fall. That’s because, they are more focused on the natural manifestations in the flesh, then the things of the Spirit. Because of this attitude, the devil is able to mislead and deceive many.
Divisions is also a work of the devil. Before divisions take place in the church, there have already been taken place a lot of things in the spiritual realm. If a leader is spiritual, (s)he should have already seen the signals and by taking action (s)he could have prevented a division. But unfortunately, not all leaders are born again, spiritual and walk after the Spirit. But many are unspiritual and are led by their natural senses. That’s why, many don’t see divisions coming and therefore will not be able to prevent divisions.
What causes divisions?
But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit (Jude 1:17-18)
The Word says, that divisions are caused by mockers; false teachers, deceiver etc..These mockers can be leaders but also members of the church.
Don’t underestimate the power of church members. It often happens, that manipulative people quietly enter the church and become a member. Then they attract and influence as many people as possible with their flattering manipulative words. They use their own insights, knowledge and theories and by speaking evil of others, including the leaders of the church, they set people up against each other or against the leader(s) of the church, and cause divisions. These mockers are workers of the devil and have his character. Their purpose is to disrupt the unity in Christ and change the truth of God into lies.
The characteristics of mockers
But leaders and ministers, like preachers, apostles, evangelists, prophets, elders, deacons etc., who are appointed in the church, can also cause divisions. In Isaiah chapter three, we read about the mockers; the unspiritual leaders, who mislead the people and cause the people to go astray.
Their words and actions go against the Word of God and His will. They turn the truth of God into a lie, so that they can keep living after the flesh. Because of that, they accept and tolerate sin.
They consider themselves wise and prudent and the people, who listen to them exalt them, and consider them wise as well.
They weary the Lord with their words, by calling good evil and evil good. Mockers put darkness for light and light for darkness and justify and approve the sins and iniquities of men.
Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope: That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it! Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! (Isaiah 5:18-21)
Through their worldly knowledge and wisdom and their charismatic appearance, and their flattering and motivational words and possibly their Phd’s, they are being allowed into the church and deceive many believers.
Using the Word of God for the lusts and desires of the flesh
These mockers shall live after their own insight, ungodly lusts and desires and after their flesh. They shall be prideful, rebellious and do what they want to do and therefore reject the true Word of God. Yes, they shall twist the Word in such way, that it seems like it is indeed written in the Word of God.
They shall not use and apply the Word of God to the spiritual man; the new man, but to the unspiritual natural man; the old man. So that, they can keep living after the flesh and keep doing those things, that go against the will of God.
Think about Jesus, when the devil tried to tempt Him in the wilderness. The devil didn’t use his own words, but he tried to tempt Jesus by using the words of God.
The devil tried to tempt Jesus by using and applying the words of God for the lusts and desires of His flesh.
But Jesus knew the will of God. He knew that the Kingdom of God and the words of God were not meant to fulfil the lusts and desires of the flesh. Therefore, Jesus defeated the devil with the spiritual truth of the words of God. Jesus didn’t bow for the devil and the lust and desires of the flesh. He didn’t bow for power and riches, but He stayed loyal to the will and the words of God (Mat 4:1-11, Lu 4:1-13).
How to prevent divisions in the church?
Jesus is our Example, and He shows us how to prevent divisions in the church. Namely, by staying loyal to God’s Word and keep walking after the Spirit in the will of God and in the love of God. You don’t stay in the love of God by accepting everyone and everything and by approving and tolerating sin in the church. That is called a false love. But you stay in the love of God by keeping His commandments and by building yourself up in your most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit. Only then, will you stay in Him, and stay spiritual awake and discern good (the works of the Kingdom of God) from evil (the works of the kingdom of darkness)
When you walk after the Spirit and stay loyal to the Word and apply the Word to the spiritual new man, then you shall be warned in the spirit for these dangerous persons; mockers, who will cause sorrow, chaos and divisions in the church. Not only shall they cause a lot of harm in the church. But they shall damage the Kingdom of God and mock the gospel and the Name of Jesus Christ.
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which you have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple (Rom 16:17-18)
What do you do with a person, who causes divisions?
The Word says, that you should admonish a person, who is a heretic and causes divisions. If the person doesn’t want to listen after the second admonition, then you should reject the person and remove the person from the congregation.
A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself (Titus 3:10-11)
Stay loyal to Jesus; the Word
As long as the church stays loyal to Jesus; the Word and keep walking after the Spirit in holiness and righteousness, and bear the fruit of the Spirit and leave the spirits of the world, that operate in ungodly carnal people, outside the church, then divisions will be prevented.
Therefore, watch and stay awake that you are not being mislead and deceived by false doctrines of those, who misuse the words of God to fulfil the lusts and desires of the flesh (2 Pe 3). Because when you allow these false doctrines into your heart, you shall not be unshakable and unwavering anymore, but you shall depart from the faith. That’s why, it is important to be born again, filled with the Holy Spirit and study and apply the Word of God in your life, so that you shall grow up into the full knowledge of Jesus Christ; the Word.
‘Be the salt of the earth’