In Matthew 12, we see Jesus being confronted by the Pharisees because HE had (in their eyes) violated the Sabbath by (1) allowing his disciples to pick and eat grain from the fields, (2) healing the man with the withered hand, and (3) delivering a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute---all on the Sabbath. HE was accused of casting out the demons by the power of Belzebul, the ruler of the demons.
Jesus responded by explaining that "Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand." Matt. 12:25
HE continued--- "If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?
The call of the church is to preach (and demonstrate) that the kingdom of God has come and is available to mankind. Some of the benefits for us are salvation from the wrath of God, deliverance from demonic and fleshly compulsions, healing of mind, body and spirit, various spiritual gifts, and, according to John 17, the ability to be one with God in the same manner as Jesus and the Father are one! And, if we are one with God, and other believers are one with God in the same manner, the conclusion is that we are one as the body of Christ in the world. Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. NASB
As I said earlier, we are to preach AND to DEMONSTRATE the kingdom. It is clear that the battle for the hearts and minds of the nations (ethnos) is getting more intense. The enemy has launched all of his assets of lies, distractions, accusations, false prophets, signs and lying wonders, etc. HOWEVER, we are also seeing the "summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth." Eph. 1:
EVERYTHING is being summed up in Christ as we move through the last days. However, the "church" as we know it has demonstrated to the world that Christ is divided up into 38,000 denominations and that HE has MANY different and often opposing doctrines and messages. Many confess that they are non-denominational, or even post-denominational. Let me remind you the the "nom" in denomination is a form of the Latin word for "name." So any "church" that designates itself from others by a name is by this definition a sect or division from the ONE church in each community that is plainly shown in scripture.
I know I've offended many at this point, so let me make an observation. The "denominational paradigm" has become a cultural way that the "church" is expressed---so I'm not advocating that removing the signs will necessarily accomplish anything of lasting value. The real concern is that we often function under the SPIRIT of division in HIS body. We compete for "members," we separate ourselves from other believers because they "don't believe" the way that we do. We pick and choose who we fellowship with on the basis of a particular doctrine or philosophy, etc. GOD HAS NOT GIVEN US THE RIGHT TO DO THIS!
The solution for all this is a people who understand God's vision for HIS church. That it (the ecclesia) IS one, that it is a community or family of people who DEMONSTRATE the unity of the Godhead by the way that they love, respect and serve one another. TALKING about the oneness of God and HIS love for humanity is NOT enough. It takes action as well!
Friends, we are in a WAR. And the enemy is devouring everything he touches. If our house is divided, how can we stand in this hour? How can we show the world and each other the fullness of Jesus? How can we speak to demonic entities with the authority of Jesus? Only when we begin to walk out the things that we say we believe and SHOW that JESUS is more important than our church identity, ministry, pet doctrines, personal preferences, etc.
We (the body of Christ) have bought the lie that we can stand independently from one another and still walk in the power and authority of Jesus. You've heard some of the passion of my heart for HIS body. Please listen to the heart of JESUS in prayer conderning this matter. With love, Grover
Let's DO Life!