Man, in his self-righteousness, thinks to serve God in many ways. One of those is in his false conception of love and humanistic endeavors. Many are those believing that unity is a good thing. They do not recognize the attempt at unity at the Tower of Babel, God’s recorded disapproval, and do not recognize the words of the One they presume to serve, Who said:
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to send peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be those of his own household” (Matthew 10:34-36).
Unity in Christ is wonderful, and inevitable, but are not rebels against God the ones seeking “unity” in corruption?
Someone sent us an e-mail linked to a photo essay with music about unity. It was composed in response to the horrendous disaster of the Asian tsunami. Here is the link:
http://www.hiddengifts.org/we_are_one/ (Archived Version)
I was inspired by the essay to consider this issue, and to reply to the message of unity. Everywhere we turn, people talk about being united. Yet we see the world more divided each day. There is an Answer to this apparent contradiction, which takes us back to God. I begin my response with the ending quote from the presentation.
“So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.”
Men have been unified not in light, but in darkness.
How treacherous are the ways of darkness that parade as light! Satan, it is said, comes as an angel of light. He comes to tell us that together we can “illuminate the whole earth.” Satan represents the power and goodness of man. He is here to cause you to trust in yourself. He promotes your power and the power of everyone coming together to attain and manifest godliness. He promotes anyone and anything other than the laying down of your right to yourself to the true and living God, Who alone is right and good.
Of Him, the true God and Savior of all men, it is said:
“He was the true Light; He enlightens every man coming into the world” (John 1:9).
And how have men received the Light? How have they reflected His illumination?
“And this is the condemnation, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the Light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).
Men have been unified not in light, but in darkness. Unity, in and of itself, is not necessarily good. There is a togetherness that is evil.
The only way to come together in the true light of unity is to repent and turn to God, away from your sins and your chosen forms of self-righteousness. It is to stop insisting you know better than God, and rather to put your full trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, obeying Him no matter what.
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
A great lie of the devil, and of men, is that somehow by coming together, the power of God is more available and will be unleashed for good. Churches, peace movements, countries, political parties, and even rock concerts and sporting events subscribe to this notion, whether consciously or not. Men believe that in numbers they will succeed. You can “just feel it.” History is littered with the bodies of men and movements that believed this, those that “succeeded” as well as those that did not.
You must come away from the multitudes in darkness to receive Him.
Jesus Christ, on the other hand, did not, and does not come by the multitudes which gather together. Though many followed Him during His life, at His death even His closest friends and followers abandoned Him. If ever a moment looked bleak and hopeless, it was at His death. Yet it was there, where not one person was gathered (“smite the Shepherd, and I will scatter the sheep”) that the resurrection power of God was demonstrated WITHOUT the assistance or faith of a single person.
People, hear this well: The demonstration of the power of God, through the resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ, is our glorious and only hope. God (the Light) is not manifested by the will of men who join themselves together. He is already the Light. You must come away from the multitudes in darkness to receive Him. Then will your light shine. It is written, “What God has joined together, let not man tear asunder…” The converse is also true: What man has joined together, let God take apart.
Men cannot attain to God in anything, whether singly or massively. By His preordained will, God is the Initiator, and brings those whom He chooses into the bond of His covenant in Christ. The life in Christ is not initiated by the will of man. People cannot “accept” God. You cannot lift yourself by your bootstraps, either. Only by the will of God in Christ are people raised out of the sinful state shared by all men. Jesus Christ did not disdain His appearing in the form of man, but overcame sin and death as a man for the sake of all humanity, each person in his or her own order. Jesus Christ, the Light of all men, is a majority of One.
If we will be children of Light, we also must go it alone, not standing with the mass of humanity in darkness, but following Christ, Who testified a good confession before Pontius Pilate. He did not seek to save His life or to please men. He sought only to obey and please God. Any who follow Him will do the same, and will also pay with the life, one way or the other.
Those who love their lives in this wicked world will not see the Kingdom of Heaven. We must die alone as He did, but in Him we also will go on to live by His resurrection power. That is life. Then we are no longer alone, whether with others or not, because we are with Him. One person with God is far less alone than the man with millions of people following him. When apprehended of God we no longer place our confidence in man, in any quantity, but in Christ Who alone was raised, and has raised us, from the dead. Then we are joined to a great company in heaven. True unity comes only by Christ, in Heaven.
“But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are written in Heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect…” (Hebrews 12:22-23).
When given power, men are anything but united.
The notion of people coming together to obtain spiritual power and demonstrate illumination is nothing new. In the beginning men came together to build a tower to heaven, or in other words, to attain the Kingdom of God in their own power, for their own purposes (Genesis 11). They even expressed the fear of disunity, “lest we be scattered upon the face of the whole earth.” God said that such plans were not good, and thwarted them by fulfilling their fear, confounding their language and scattering them to the four winds.
If unity was the thing, then God was altogether wrong in confounding language, dividing and dispersing the people that intended to build the Tower of Babel unto heaven. (Ask yourself what would have been if Bahaullah had lived in that day and had his way. It is no different today.) Though the Tower of Babel seemed an excellent idea to men (no different from the quote we began this paper with), it was not good at all. God said that nothing would be withheld from men should they have done this.
Think of men having unlimited powers! The truth is that when given power, it soon becomes evident that men are anything but united, every man expressing himself as a separate fount of authority, ceding to no other peer. Democracy, so highly touted by many as godly, also fails for this reason.
God, Who is our rightful superior, is the only true Authority, and has, thankfully, in His wisdom, put boundaries on the evil of man in power. He also has provided the only sure and lasting positive outcome for mankind, which men have shown themselves incapable of achieving, by and through Himself in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. When we come under His Headship, all things fall into place. Then we are rightly related to God and man.
God became man for us in Jesus Christ, and suffered alone so that we could be joined to God through Him, in like manner. That is the way it works. There is no other way.
That is why He said He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. All other ways are lies, and lead to death. His way, through the voluntary death to self and this world, which comes by His grace and power through identification with Him, leads us into true life. We must follow Him, without the crowds, where He is not. We must follow Him and not our own notions of light, peace, life, truth, unity, or even of Him. He is Lord.
Those for “peace” also bring much evil in their unity.
Often we hear the praises of unity, as though rather than a neutral thing, it is the best idea and most lofty goal ever conceived. People forget that unity does not equate to great illumination, as demonstrated by Nazi Germany under Hitler, Japan under Hiroshito, Italy under Mussolini, France under Napoleon, and so many other examples of people joining together at great cost to humanity. And we are only talking obvious warmongers here.
What is not so commonly recognized is that those for “peace” also bring much evil in their unity. What about England unified under Chamberlain? Churchill, preaching preparation for war at that time, was relegated to political Siberia, and was considered hopelessly out of touch by the “peace lovers,” who ended up unprepared for the horrors to come. The evil that came by their policy of “appeasement” was much greater than the “evil” of taking a stance against evil.
And what about the insidious evil of corporations, wherein men come together and pool their resources to accomplish great things, without accountability or personal liability? It is like a pack of dogs. One dog may do no harm, but let several run together and they will pillage the countryside.
It is not how many you stand with; it is what you stand for.
The examples I have given are SYMPTOMATIC, and cannot be dealt with by simply NOT getting together. The underlying condition, and problem, is that mankind is NOT united with God, no matter how united they may seem to be with each other. Look no further than the United States for an example of alleged godliness. It is not so.
Let us be truthful: No others have attained to godliness. Does the Islamic world have the answer? No. Does the European Union? No. Does commune-ist China? No. The common denominator for all is an independent spirit that says, “I know better, and don’t need God, particularly a LORD over me telling me what to do! I will unify only to ensure I have my way!”
Unity is not a promise or sign of godliness.
People, we desperately need Him Who is our rightful Lord and God. Only when we are humbled and receive Jesus Christ as Lord of all will we come to true peace, with God and with each other. There is no neutrality in this matter. We are either for or against Him. Those not with Him, scatter abroad. He is the Majority of One. He is Unity. All else is illusion of unity, which vaporizes and is gone, leaving you as alone as ever.
“And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (Matthew 12:25).
Unity is not a promise or sign of godliness:
“Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered” (Proverbs 11:21).
“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever desires to be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).
“… the whole world lies in wickedness” (1 John 5:19).
Men come together not for good, but for evil:
“Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtlety, and kill Him” (Matthew 26:3-4).
“For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life” (Psalms 31:13).
“Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war. [And, lest you think that war is simply physical…] They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips. Selah. Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings” (Psalms 140:1-4).
“Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by Me: whosoever shall gather together against you shall fall for your sake” (Isaiah 54:15).
“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea” (Revelation 20:7-8).
It is the unity of the Jerusalem from above that all of creation needs.
“And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army” (Revelation 19:19).
“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it” (Zechariah 12:3).
In truth, all have been gathered together against the Jerusalem from above (which also has its earthly counterpart). This unity is to be repented of, not gloried in. It is the unity of the Jerusalem from above that all of creation needs and awaits, even while rejecting the messengers.
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem! Your people have killed the prophets and have stoned the messengers who were sent to you. I have often wanted to gather your people, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But you wouldn’t let me” (Matthew 23:37).
What God has for us is good.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalms 133:1)
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13).
“You shall arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favor her, yes, the set time, is come…To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem; when the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD” (Psalms 102:13, 20-22).
This unity comes by the work of God in the Son of Man, Jesus Christ and all those united in Him.
“Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice” (Psalms 50:5).
“And not for that nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad” (John 11:52).
The Lord assembles His people to bring salvation to the world.
“The LORD does build up Jerusalem: He gathers together the outcasts of Israel” (Psalms 147:2).
“Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired” (Zephaniah 2:1).
“And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth” (Isaiah 11:12).
The Lord assembles His people, which are His body, to bring salvation to the world. That is the unity that illuminates the world, and that brings life to mankind.
“For the earnest expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creation was not willingly subjected to vanity, but because of Him Who subjected it on hope that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:19-21).
“And now I am in the world no longer, but these are in the world, and I come to You, Holy Father. Keep them in Your name, those whom You have given Me, so that they may be one as We are [the unity of God]. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those that You have given Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. And now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world that they might have My joy fulfilled in them. I have given them Your Word, and the world [the unity of man] has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not pray for You to take them out of the world, but for You to keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through Your truth. Your Word is truth. As You have sent Me into the world, even so I have sent them into the world. And I sanctify Myself for their sakes, so that they also might be sanctified in truth. And I do not pray for these alone, but for those also who shall believe on Me through their word, that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me” (John 17:11-21).
The unity of God overcomes the unity of man!
Jesus Christ is life, and not only life, but life from the dead. There is yet hope. We preach this hope and life to you. Repent; turn from empty and meaningless philosophies such as the one posted at the beginning of this writing.
Turn from religion and sectarian pride that is not from Heaven. Turn from trusting in your own wisdom. Turn from your sins. Admit you know nothing, and look to Him Who does know, and Who knows you.
There is a commonality shared by all. We are made from one blood by the same Creator. All have sinned and have come short of the glory of God. Jesus Christ, Who is the glory of God, has paid the price for the sins of the whole world. All are called to turn to Him, and to repent of independence from Him.
“We are ruled by Christ’s love for us. We are certain that if one person died for everyone else, then all of us have died. And Christ did die for all of us. He died so we would no longer live for ourselves, but for the One who died and was raised to life for us” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).
This is the only true unity.
“After these things I saw a large crowd from every nation, tribe, people, and language. No one was able to count how many people there were. They were standing in front of the throne and the Lamb. They were wearing white robes, holding palm branches in their hands, and crying out in a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God, Who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'” (Revelation 7:9-10)
With brother John, I say, “Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus.”