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Satan promotes legitimacy and credibility of his kingdom by glorifying his gates of Hell in order to keep men in darkness and maintain his control over their souls. And men must justify their lawlessness and independence of God, because they worship what, when, where, and how they please. As it is written, “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25).
Jesus prayed and told others to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” There is almost unanimous agreement with the belief that when Christians get to Heaven, there will be no sections dividing them by denomination. They will all be one.
So let me ask this: If the Lord told us to pray that God’s will be done on earth as it is in Heaven, what right do we have to be partisan on earth? What right do we have to divide, or contribute to division?
In obedience to the Lord, we’ve not been part of any denomination or official church group for over 36 years now. We’ve been called a cult for this and repeatedly told we have forsaken assembling with believers (Hebrews 10:25). But I say to those who participate in separate church organizations and denominations that they are the ones who forsake assembling with the obedient or faithful people of God. They are the cults of men – following the pope of Rome, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Billy Graham, Menno Simons, Jacob Huter, John Knox, John Wesley, William Booth, William Branham, Joseph Smith, Benny Hinn, Oral Roberts, Jack Van Impe, and a multitude of others.
It is our accusers who walk in darkness and not light, because Jesus Christ is Light and He isn’t found where He tells us not to be. If these churches are each so faithfully pointing to the God of Heaven and earth, why are they so divided and in disagreement on so many doctrines and issues? The fact is, they aren’t pointing to any truth, certainly not to God’s, and that’s why they are where they are, contrary to the Lord and His commandments.
Why do so many Protestant denominations seem to think the Roman Catholic Church is legitimate? The “mother church” seeks every opportunity to bring its “wayward children” back into the fold so that there may be one fold and one shepherd, the “most holy father,” the “sole vicar of Christ” on earth, the pope at Rome.
“God is working unity among the churches today,” I have heard people say for decades. Those who used to say it, in the old days, fade away while denominations increase in number. The only unity they have is that they are all alike – false, formal, empty of God, and under His continual wrath. When they unite organizationally, just as some did, many decades ago, to form the United Church of Canada, they compromise on Biblical doctrine and practice; they compromise for unity’s sake and organizational survival. It has nothing to do with unity in the Spirit of God.
But those who desire to be joined in unity with God and His people will come out of organized religion. They will cease pleasing one another to please themselves. They will repent of proud independence. They will submit themselves to God, not to men building their own kingdoms in competition with the Kingdom of God.
They will submit to His authority, seek to obey, receive correction, and be taught in His ways. There will be no more games, religious entertainments, lawlessness, hypocrisy, uncleanness, and divisions. God will be the Unifying Factor, not men, not doctrine, not membership, not social benefits, or any other thing.
Wrote Paul to carnal partisans at Corinth:
1 Corinthians 1:10-13 MKJV
(10) But I exhort you, brothers, by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
(11) For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brothers, by those of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
(12) But I say this, that every one of you says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and ‘I of Apollos,’ and ‘I of Cephas,’ and ‘I of Christ.’
(13) Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you, or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
It’s remarkable how people can sit in their denominational pews and criticize the Corinthians about their divisions, but they do. I did, until the Lord opened my eyes. How easy it is to see the error and faults of others, yet be so blind to our own! But God got through to me, and now I preach so others may know His will.
It is said that God raised up denominations to emphasize some important truth. Baptists press home the alleged importance of water baptism, Pentecostals preach the baptism in the Holy Spirit, the Salvation Army emphasizes attending to the poor, and so forth.
Why, contrary to the Scriptures and God’s call for the Body of Christ to be of one mind and heart, do we need general division in order to press home specific truths? Isn’t that a bit like getting prostitutes to preach chastity? Just what do they smoke, who dream up these rationalizations for wickedness?
And what do Catholics have in truth that others don’t – that the harlot church is the true church of God? (Of course, the Catholics insist everything they believe is true.) The Church of England (Anglican Church in Canada; Episcopalian Church in the US) has what truth that others don’t? Its origin was Henry VIII’s bid for royal divorce, the very foundation a form of disunity, condemned by God.
The Methodists have what truth that others don’t? Their origin was that the Wesleys preached faith and wanted a loosening of the formality and authority imposed by the Church of England. Yet many groups preach faith and less authority of men. So why aren’t they joined together?
The Salvation Army believes in what they term the “second blessing,” referring to the baptism in the Holy Spirit, but try to find one member who has experienced, or sincerely believes, it exists anymore. So what is their truth? Uniforms and tubas? They give to the poor, but so do others to various degrees. The United Way and World Vision also give, and they don’t pretend to be a church. Truly, the founder of the Salvation Army, “General Booth,” began a cult.
It’s easy to imagine what both the religious and secular populaces would think if our fellowship began wearing uniforms. “Cult! Cult! Down with them! They think they’re better than us! They’re dangerous! They’ll take our kids away and steal sheep from our denominations!”
The Baptists establish themselves as the holy keepers of water baptism, yet have no use whatsoever for being baptized in the Spirit of Christ Whom they profess to serve and which spiritual new birth water baptism represents. Isn’t that like taking a nut, saving the shell, and tossing away the meat? In rebuking the Corinthians, Paul emphasized Spirit baptism and played down water baptism:
1 Corinthians 1:14-17 MKJV
(14) I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,
(15) lest any should say that I had baptized in my own name.
(16) And I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides these, I do not know if I baptized any other.
(17) For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel; not in wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.
The Baptists claim to preach Paul’s Gospel, yet contradict him on fundamental matters of faith. They don’t believe, but try telling them so. They will insist their faith and denomination are the only truly legitimate ones.
The Pentecostals preach the Pentecostal blessing, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, but I’ve run into very few Pentecostals with the Spirit of God. I have seen some with other spirits, tongues and all.
Reformers are ever dividing themselves and reforming until there are almost as many Reform churches as there are Reformer members. And they’re proud of it. To them it’s a joke – they have no knowledge of Christ or respect for the unity of His Body. Mock God, you Calvinists, will you? And your histories show how grievously you suffer consequences for your pride and divisiveness.
“I am of Luther, I am of Calvin, I am of Menno Simons, I am of Joseph Smith, I am of Jacob Huter, I am of William Branham; I belong to Christ Church, I belong to the Church of Christ, I belong to Disciples of Christ…” and nobody worships the Lord Jesus Christ in spirit and in truth.
Do denominations emphasize truth in holy fashion by the will of God? I say they emphasize rebellion against the One they profess to love, worship, and serve. They are altogether contrary to God.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 MKJV
(14) Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship does righteousness have with lawlessness? And what partnership does light have with darkness?
(15) And what agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever?
(16) And what agreement does a Temple of God have with idols? For you are the Temple of the living God, as God has said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
(17) Therefore come out from among them and be separated, says the Lord, and do not touch the unclean thing. And I will receive you
(18) and I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.
“He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will reveal Myself to him” (John 14:21 MKJV).
“Jesus answered and said to him, If a man loves Me, he will keep My Word. And My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him” (John 14:23 MKJV).
Consider the alternative to believing denominations are legitimate: If you obey God in holiness and come out from the works of men according to the Scriptures, you will see God and He will make His abode in you.