I have actually already answered this in all the other sections. Let's start with why the church is divided. It is divided because it is ruled by the spirit of this world. Is that even possible, one might ask? In the first-century when Paul was alive one of the biggest and most influential gentile churches of its time who kept the Jerusalem church from starving to death with their riches, was the Corinth church. Paul proclaimed they were worldly and their perceptions were ruled by the spirit of this world. So yes, we see in the Bible even while the apostles were still alive, that the church can be ruled by the spirit of this world. One of the biggest symptoms that tipped Paul off was the division, the party’s and factions that were formed. Why is that?
You see, the spirit of this world and its corrupt wisdom (perception, point of view or world view) is the spirit and wisdom of the Devil. In rebelling against God, the Devil had to separate or divide himself from God. He had to believe perceptions about God that made Him an enemy, a rival, the competition, as something separate and inferior to him. He had to judge God.
The wisdom and spirit perception of the spirit of this world is the wisdom of division by nature. That’s why Paul decided their problem was they were operating out of the wisdom of this world. It is also why when in the middle of talking about church division in 1st Corinthians he seemingly takes this rabbit trail to talk about the spiritual man, wisdom from heaven and worldly wisdom. Then returns to talking about church division when he is finished. Get them to relate out of the right Spirit and perceive their differences out of heavenly wisdom, then the problems will take care of themselves. In fact his answers were the only answers that worked!
That was the answer then and it is the answer now!
Many years back I was in a prayer room in Chicago. The Holy Spirit dropped in suddenly, it was like a smoke, everyone in the house got up and danced with it together. They were staggering and laughing. Even falling to the ground. Most importantly they were filled with joy and accepted each other. I sat on the side, the Lord told me He was showing me something. He said that soon He was going to release the Holy Spirit in power with an anointing to unify the church. He said it will be a supernatural unity that will be an impossible thing for man to bring about. There is no amount of wanting to get alone or potluck dinners with fellow churches or networking that can bring true unity. Although this is the case, that it can’t be attained by man, the church has to change their whole mindset in order to receive and function in unity with each other. It will surprise most people what that change is, because it is not trying to connect with each other and accept each other.
The contemporary church was built on the wisdom and spirit of this world. As I said before the wisdom of this world is by nature divisive. Someone has to be wrong for someone to be right. Someone has to lose for someone to win. The world and the spirit behind it is in rebellion to God and His will. From a spiritual stand point the world operates under anarchy. Each man, group, and country are laws unto themselves having agendas that they see as good and right and anyone or anything that interferes with them as bad and wrong. At best, Paul tells us it can form party’s, factions, sects and cliques. Even then the only unity the world can have with others is:
1. To unite for a common cause that will profit both sides.
2. To unite against a common enemy. (This lasts only as long as the enemy does.)
3. Acceptance without conformity
After that, and because both sides have their own agenda’s and beliefs, the only way to act in unity is to find the common ground for both parties to compromise their positions and beliefs until they can function together.
To unite the church in such a way is arrogant, and presumptuous. It is giving the power to unite God’s church to men and allowing them to pick and choose what’s important to follow or conform to. This is God’s job to decide.
The change the Church needs to make is what Paul told the Corinth church to make. We need to be spiritual and not worldly. The spiritual man doesn’t unite by compromise because he won’t compromise the will or instructions from God. He unites through agreement.
The spiritual way says that our fellowship is in the Spirit and not with each other. Jesus said in John that if you obey me My Father will love you and I will love you. It’s like He won’t love us unless His Father loves us first. You gotta ask, hey, if I obey you why won’t you love me for that? And to the Father, why do I have to conform to your Son for you love me. As for the Father, acceptance without conformity always brings division and undermines authority.
Let me give an example: someone in the congregation goes against the authority of her pastor and is disrespectful. Then the pastor admonishes her, but she doesn’t conform or repent, but instead judges him as wrong and having treated her harshly. Then the person stops talking to the pastor and treats him in a rude fashion. Then she goes to the pastor’s wife and tells her how unreasonable her husband is and she acts like a victim. The wife had not heard from her husband about the problem then had compassion for her and promises to talk to him. Then she approaches her husband, sympathetic with the woman, saying something to the effect of; "honey can’t you just talk to her? She is all broken up and doesn’t know how to approach you because she is afraid".
In the spirit realm this is what happened . The woman judged authority and has broken from it, and thereby divided from her fellowship with her pastor and her church structure. Now she is no longer under the cover of her authority. Because you have to elevate yourself above something to stand in judgement of it. Then thinking she is right and tries to get sympathy/acceptance from someone else in the group. In this case she was successful and the pastor’s wife simply felt bad for her. But the moment she was able to see how the person could feel that way, she unwittingly took on her spirit, and divided from her church authority and her husband in the spirit realm. The sins of the woman are piling up, because she is now breaking down authority and causing others to do the same. Unless the wife repents quickly, the spirit of division between her and her husband will take root and they will find themselves judging each other, and dividing more and more. Then, if the woman is not addressed by the wife, and rebuked, division and break down of authority will spread. Churches unwise to this and non-confrontational will always be divided, and in many cases be torn apart. This is because they don’t know how to deal with the spirit of division (the wisdom of this world)
Getting back to why even if I do everything Jesus asks, He still won’t love me unless His Father does. This is because His fellowship is in the Spirit. His will is to do the Father’s will. His judgement is to see how His Father’s judgement is true, not to figure out if it is true. His feelings thus become the Father’s feelings.
The spiritual way is for all parties in unity to seek out God’s instruction and then unite out of agreement to what God is saying. If one party wants to unite in any other way, the spiritual church will not give acceptance to the other until there is conformity. In the case they don’t agree with what the spirit is saying, they don’t divide but confront the issue and go at it in discussion and prayer until all parties hear the same thing. But if it is simply a difference of opinion or theology or personal agendas and God’s will is not an issue; then the spiritual church must break and confront until both sides are trying to hear from God. Hearing from God and not their own expertise and opinions.
As far as individual Churches are concerned, to become spiritual they must bring people into leadership first because of their proven ability to hear God and their track record of following God’s will even when it hurts them. Then as leadership they will make decisions based on what they hear God say as a group and not what their expertise tells them. Their expertise only comes into play to help understand the implications of what they hear God say, and how that may look. Expertise also helps in the carrying out of God’s command.
When I read Acts chapter four for the first time that they were one heart, one mind, and one voice it made me think, wow that is a supernatural occurrence! 5000 plus under persecution and they all agree? Then I read how Paul on a couple of occasions admonished the church he was writing to, to be one heart, one mind, one voice. I thought it would be impossible to get that many people to see things the same way. Really, it's impossible to get 5 people to feel that way. That is until I had my vision, and realized the adjustment we have to make in the way we relate to God and each other before we could use the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit to be one. After the Lord showed me, our church has conformed to those ways. We teach people to be spiritual men and women. People who as individuals obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit doing all things out of conviction. We operate as a fellowship through the power of agreement. Our leadership was chosen because they hear God and act on this and not their own fears, personal agendas or evaluations. Our leadership has counseled every member of our church with two counselors for each person so that there are three people in agreement with what God is saying for the person being counseled. Our elders confront all issues and attempts involving acceptance without conformity, as well as all break downs in being moved by the Spirit according to Matthew 18:15.
Mt 18:15 “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over...
We now call our church a Community of Believers who have their fellowship in the Spirit. It is an amazing thing I never dreamt possible! We can all operate out of agreement as one heart, one voice, and one mind no matter how many people are involved if they are all people that seek out and desire to do the will of God and not what they think is right.
An Important Distinction:
The founder of the Quaker Movement, George Fox, had issues being able to call the contemporary Church of his time, the Church. This was because the Church by definition is the body of Christ. However, he knew the spiritual condition of the church of his day to be so far from spiritual union with Christ he could not in good conscience think of what was called the church to be the body of Christ. He did not want people to think he believed the church of his day was in spiritual union with Christ and therefore acting as His Body. As a result he was quoted as saying God "dwelleth in the hearts of his obedient people" and referred to the church building as "steeple-house"---those buildings with steeples on them. He wanted people to understand that those who are obedient to the Lord's Spirit in their own hearts comprise the Church and not the people who perform religious practices, the buildings, or the organizations.
I bring this up because in this article I talk about Church Unity inferring it is a solution for the church to become united. Then prophesy in others that the Church is beyond fixing, will be judged, and people need to come out of the Church and into His body. This can seem confusing because in some places I use the word church to represent religious denominations, organizations, or Christian fellowships. Then in others I use the same word (church) to represent His body. To make matters clear, when I speak of unity in the church I am referring to those who are coming into spiritual union with Christ, led by His Spirit in unity as His body (whether it is an individual or a whole Christian fellowship [church]). Thereby becoming the true definition of the word His Church. This is to be distinguished from what they come out of, which is the religious groups and Christian fellowships also called church. Both individuals and whole Christian fellowships (churches) can come out of the religious church and into to His body which is the true Church---His bride. Just like George Fox we feel it is important to distinguish between the two. As such we like to call our Christian fellowship a community of believers who have their fellowship in the Spirit.