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Author's Brief Testimony
A Dividing Force
you find the Bible hard to understand? It takes a long time to study
and understand the Scriptures. Are the accounts on its pages history
or fable? Can it be proved to be the "word of God" and relevant
to life in the 21st Century? Does it resonate with the assurance of
truth or not?
Forces Work to Separate us from Gospel Truth
two active spiritual forces competing for our
For many, in a time of God's choosing, our life reaches a place where we may begin to experience God. These God-ordained times are of special significance (Gr. kairos) in God's timetable. At such times God's hand reaches forth in grace and begins draw us out of darkness or strengthen men and women to raise them up giving them a testimony and a new witness to God's work of redemption. Until such times we seem to remain in a kind of inertia both as individuals and as institutions. The fruit of God's work often seems to be enhanced by tests and trials.
There are times of spiritual revival that occur when men or women of God are empowered by the Spirit. At these times there is a break through from the malaise of tradition. Men and women receive something from heaven. The fire of God begins to consume their spirits. They break forth proclaiming that God truly rewards those that seek him. In the face of such revival a sleeping church awakens to refresh the world in hope. Before religious belief systems were born there was spiritual power in evidence but it doesn't take long for the signs and wonders and the anointing that demonstrates God's Spirit at work to depart and be replaced by natural, human level knowledge and abilities. Religion contains a memory of God's presence while all that remains is a story.
A person growing up in with religion has been told that there is a God but though they have Not experienced Him. They may have been told that God answers prayers, but they've never experience answered prayer. They are told that God once spoke to people but he doesn't speak anymore. But, God is a God of the living not of the dead. God is a right now being. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Religious traditions tend to turn the reality of God's "now-ness" into God's "then-ness." Religion for all intents and purposes becomes a kind of "oral tradition" and no more.
So we also see the situation where one sects understanding of the practice of Christianity comes in conflict with others and the house divides further. And thus we have come to a place where hundreds of denominations or sects contend for there own view of the truth. Professing Christians are for the most part, divided from others in the body. My experience with traditional denominations is that few enjoy the "now-ness" of God; and even fewer who see themselves as the true and valued disciples for whom Jesus prayed for in John 17 when he commissioned us all to be "as He is in the world."
is the bonding power of unity.
We see that religion of any sort divides humanity. How unfortunate that there is such pervasive division among Christians. Division weakens and hinders the purposes of God to partake in his Kingdom. Jesus prayer for believers is recorded in chapter seventeen of John's Gospel asks for unity among all that the Father has given him. This prayer is prayed for all his disciples, and disciples in coming generations who also will know him as Redeemer and Deliverer. This prayer is the specific will of God and the road map of ministry for those who believe and follow him in generations to come. Even the Jew and Gentile were eventually to be one, perfectly one in Himself.
Oneness (unity) in Jesus Christ means to have the same fellowship with the Father as Jesus knew and experienced. In addition, Jesus also prayed (in John c. 17) that we should partake of the same glory which had been given to him. Later in the prayer, the Lord expresses that it is his will for us to share in His commission and ministry upon the earth. He Jesus, foresees in his prayer that he be replicated in each disciple to continue his own life and ministry. This charge to serve (minister) that Christ received from the Father was turned over to the disciples. Every petition in Jesus' prayer were expressed with the assurance that the Father would answer and bring it to pass. Everything Jesus prayed was in the Father's will. After the resurrection and the launching of the 'church age' we see these principles restated and amplified by the writing of the apostles in the epistle writings (the epistles of John, Peter, Paul, and Lukes account of the Acts of the apostles.)
Most religious tradition contradicts the intentions spoken by Jesus in his high priestly prayer. Today most of us are instructed by our human religious mentors in matters of faith and living our lives. We have as much or as little of the truth of the Gospel as is understood by our mentors or expositors of our tradition. The apostle Paul exhorts us not to be ignorant about Spiritual matters but you are brought forth into this idolatry by our leaders - - (1 Corinthians 12:1 paraphrase) .
been mentored not to practice the dynamic life of disciples in practice
of the Christian faith. Thus we can not avail ourselves of the spiritual
life or have faith to move into these dimensions though they are established
as spiritual promises in the Word. Any and every believer is an inheritor
of all of God's promises.
Understanding Home Fellowships