You will see on the website, Pentecost which we are moving toward and continue to pray for. Jesus said Luke 24:46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Acts 1:8 “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:3 “After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 15:3 “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time.” Acts1:15 “In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) Will you wait for Pentecost to come once again? Acts 2:1 “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” Matthew 3:16 “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Scripture:Mark 12:29 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” 1 Corinthians 8:4 “We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.”
Opening Songs: Everyday- Hillsong
I Walk By Faith- Praise Band
Love the Lord - Lincoln Brewster
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:4-31
Songs: Alive in Me- JJ Weeks Band
If We Are The Body - Casting Crowns
Sermon: “As One”
Closing Song: Rediscover You - Starfield
Benediction: Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
This last song is not a problem that Jesus has, but a problem we have because we have turned to other gospels and no one is asking where are all the wonders. The teaching is like the song “Alive in me”. They think that the Holy Spirit is there in power because they prayed a prayer yet where is all the power they sing of. Yes many believe that power is what enables them to go to church and that is all there is. Again us poor saps don’t get the same power the early churc h has yet they sing about it. The song said, “The very same light that pierced the dark, The very same word that stilled the sea, The very same spirit that tore the veil is alive in me, You're alive in me The very same power that healed our hearts, The very same love that sets us free, The very same Spirit that conquered death Is alive in me, You're alive in me.” That is how it supposed to be and I love this song by the way, but we have to ask if we are the body where are all the wonders? The body we been taught about is broken and dysfunctional but in a day where dysfunction is praised, the remnant will rise up once again and show what the body of Jesus Christ is supposed to look like.
All you have to do is listen to the media, watch politics and you will see the exact opposite of the body of Christ. The body of Christ means that we come together as one. Sure there will be people gather together as one to oppose another group of as ones but they are not one. So year after year things remain the same or get worse. Sadly the church has followed in this type of oneness but that is not who we have been called to be. Oneness can be defined, as “the fact or state of being unified or whole, though comprised of two or more parts.” The problem is the church is not one. Yes it is compromised of many parts but it does not look like what we read earlier in our scripture reading. When Paul gave instructions about the Lord’s Supper, he said in 1 Corinthians 11:17 “In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19 No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval.” We definitely have that.
Last week we looked at how Jesus made us one. Ephesians 2:1 “Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. 19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”
So today and for the generations past there is no oneness. We see that by jumping into church history where you had The Great Schism of 1054 which was the breakup of the Christian church into two sections—the Western and the Eastern sections. Obviously that just did not happen over night. This led to the development of the modern Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. Then you have the Protestant Reformation in 1517. Now let me show you how messed up this is yet people praise the reformers. In an article in Christianity Today the writer said “Denominations: Divided We Stand. Many are surprised to learn that denominations were created to make peace in the church possible.” “When it was published in 2001, the World Christian Encyclopedia counted 33,830 denominations worldwide; with the amount of debate and division over theology and orthodoxy since then, that number is undoubtedly higher. But is this myriad of denominations a sign of chronic division amongst the church? Or is it, as some argue, the prime example of the church working together as different parts of one body?” A prime example??? This is about as ludicrous as it gets. I believe Paul was right and the remnant will stand blessed by God but it is not a denomination or an independent because they will have to turn from their wicked ways to be part of it. The only way is to turn from the denomination back to God. Let me give an example. Most denominations believe they have found the way yet all of them are radically different and no they are not one body. Yes many will have the same tenets (A tenet is a principle or belief honored by a person or, more often, a group of people.) as their foundation but they diversify from there. So how is it possible they have found the way? Paul said, Colossians 1:22 “But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.” We are supposed to be following scripture not the way of man.
Scripture makes it very clear disaster follows those who go their own way. Deuteronomy 29:19 “When such a person hears the words of this oath and they invoke a blessing on themselves, thinking, “I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way,” they will bring disaster on the watered land as well as the dry.” Judges 21:25 “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” This is not the body of Christ. Nothing can be further form the church saying denominations will bring peace; they only bring division. When I was with the ministerial they would have a unity service but there was nothing further from the truth. Sure they could put a service together and keep it ecumenical but that was as far as it would go.
If we are truly going to be “As One,” then we must return to following the way of Jesus, which means we follow His word not mans and especially not the doctrines of demons. It means Jesus will be the head once again. If we return to following God’s word then we will once again have discernment to know the difference between God’s way and man / demons ways. Picture with me the military. You are ready to engage in battle and all of a sudden shots are coming from everywhere. Do you really want to be in a military where friendly fire is the norm? Judges 7:22 “When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the Lord caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords.” 2 Chronicles 20:21 “After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.” 22 As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 23 The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.”
This is not the church but basically this is what has been happening. I know you may ask why are you so focused on tearing down the church then. It is not the gospel of Jesus Christ we tear down but the idols in it. That is a directive from God. As I said last week we are called to demolish destroy and tear down. If there are idols in the church, down they come. When Gideon was called, God said to tear down. Judges 6:25 “That same night the Lord said to him, “Take the second bull from your father’s herd, the one seven years old. Tear down your father’s altar to Baal and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. 26 Then build a proper kind of altar to the Lord your God on the top of this height. Using the wood of the Asherah pole that you cut down, offer the second bull as a burnt offering.” 27 So Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord told him. But because he was afraid of his family and the townspeople, he did it at night rather than in the daytime. 28 In the morning when the people of the town got up, there was Baal’s altar, demolished, with the Asherah pole beside it cut down and the second bull sacrificed on the newly built altar! 29 They asked each other, “Who did this?” When they carefully investigated, they were told, “Gideon son of Joash did it.” The church is filled with defilement so like Hezekiah we must remove it. He said, 2 Chronicles 29:5 “Listen to me, Levites! Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the Lord, the God of your ancestors. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary. 6 Our parents were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the Lord our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the Lord’s dwelling place and turned their backs on him. 7 They also shut the doors of the portico and put out the lamps.”
This is not just about removing a few things but this about totally returning to God and His word. When we do that, His power returns. The problem in the past has been a creation of something new that is still man made. So instead of having Catholic beliefs you now have Catholic and Protestant beliefs each with a life of their own. That was not a return to God’s word. I know everyone thinks they are following God’s word. What needs to happen is to walk away from stink. The distinctives are not the church but a dysfunctional body. Divided we stand or agreeing to disagree leads to death and destruction as we see the desolation in the powerless church today. The problem is most do not know their bibles well enough so once again most are in the dark about what the bible actually says. I saw this article that was about this subject. Humorous, yet sad. “On Easter Sunday, NBC aired “Jesus Christ Superstar, Live in Concert,” featuring John Legend as Jesus. After watching one of the rehearsals earlier in the week, Teigen, who is Legend’s wife, tweeted: "John said there would be leopards today. But it's lepers. I uh, am not good with the Bible." The article goes on to look at some stats. LifeWay Research: Americans Are Fond of the Bible, Don’t Actually Read It” That is easy to see. “A study conducted by Lifeway found that while nearly 87 percent of American households possess a Bible, most people who live in these homes (53 percent) barely open the holy book.” “A scant 19 percent of Christians say they read the Bible every day, and only 20 percent report thinking about biblical truths throughout the day. As a result, Christians may not only be surprised to find lepers in the Bible, they may also be shocked to learn what it teaches about God.”
Most Christians do not know the bible, God Jesus or the Holy Spirit so what exactly has the church been doing? Knowing the bible and knowing of the bible are two different things. This lack of knowledge has led to disaster with people going their own way instead of going as one. Not only are most Christians illiterate, many leaders have no idea either. They simply are following in the steps of those who went before them. 1 Timothy 1:7 “They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.” We are warned in James 3:1 “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” When I say illiterate I don’t mean the definition that says you cannot read or write. No they can read and write and will stand on what they have read till they die but they will die with no understanding. In this case illiterate means “uneducated in the fundamentals of a given art or branch of learning; lacking knowledge of a specific field.” Most can read the bible but it is the understanding that they lack. Isaiah 5:13 “Therefore my people will go into exile for lack of understanding; those of high rank will die of hunger and the common people will be parched with thirst.” Isaiah 56:11 “They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, they seek their own gain.” Again because the church has gone their own way, God has turned his face from us. It should be Isaiah 11:2 “The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.” Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise. Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Since there is no fear, there is also no knowledge. In their ignorance they do not know enough to repent. Again it is like ignoring the bridge is out sign. Sure they could read the sign but they ignored it. Jesus Matthew 16:2 “He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”
Another of the schisms that happened in the church was the Age of Enlightenment or the Age of Reason but really it should be known as the Age of Fools when it comes to scripture. As far as the church goes this enlightenment sent the church even further into darkness than it was. The Enlightenment included a range of ideas centered on reason as the primary source of authority and legitimacy. This reason, scientific and philosophical replaced the authority of God’s word and still does. When reason, tradition and experience replace scripture, we are lost. John 1:9 “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.” John 8:12 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 3:19 “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” Oddly what we call enlightened actually turned the lights out. Once quote I was intrigued by was about Thomas Jefferson. One writer said “A Founding Father's view of God. Jefferson compiled a Bible without miracles that ended with Jesus' burial instead of resurrection.” You can still buy the Jefferson Bible. One person said, “he opened his Bible--not to pray, but to cut.” In fact, Jefferson was devoted to the teachings of Jesus Christ. But he didn’t always agree with how they were interpreted by biblical sources, including the writers of the four Gospels, whom he considered to be untrustworthy correspondents. So Jefferson created his own gospel by taking a sharp instrument, perhaps a penknife, to existing copies of the New Testament and pasting up his own account of Christ’s philosophy, distinguishing it from what he called “the corruption of schismatizing followers.” He was a product of the enlightenment. It was said, “The third US president's unwillingness to swallow miracles such as the virgin birth led him to cut out parts of the Gospels he did not agree with and compile his own version.” “Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of the United States, went further and compiled the Jefferson Bible which dropped any passages dealing with miracles, visitations of angels, and the resurrection of Jesus after his death. He tried to extract the practical Christian moral code of the New Testament.” How many times today in the church do you hear principles to live by yet the church continues in a form of godliness but denies the power.
Isn’t that what the church continues to do, slice and dice, add and subtract so that the bible does not interfere with their reason. They change God’s word and do not believe what is written. All of these different groups have made their own little Jefferson Bibles to their liking. If you are to be one of us, then you must agree to our little bibles whether you are Baptist, Catholic, Brethren, Methodist, Salvation Army or Reformed. If you are going to be one with us you must adhere to what we believe and make sure you don’t believe what they believe. We have already talked about the dangers of Study Bibles.
Here is an example of this. When I was with the Wesleyan church they had their own book of discipline which is their bible you have to agree with. On the required course we were taught that these were the Family rules. It was said, These are “Guidelines that you don’t have to like but later you will realize how good they were.” Well it is later and no. The reason I bring this up was they have a slogan that says, “Made New” and the stats to prove it. But what are people being made new into. Like all denominations they are being cloned into whatever family they have joined. They have to believe the book of discipline, that is the family rules. Well how is that possible when we are to be the family of God. These churches plant other churches, send missionaries to teach their distinctives yet they call it the gospel of Jesus Christ. They have a stats called the big picture but where are the signs and wonders. Entire sanctification was always a troubling stat and I don’t see it listed with the big five. Conversion, Baptisms, Churches, Membership, and Worshippers, so the question is where are all the wonders. For a denomination that entire sanctification was of such an importance I guess stats are a little harder for that one.
So why bring this up. No I’m not a disgruntled ex Wesleyan or Methodist, it just shows that being made new is much more that going to a church and learning their family rules. That is not what we are called to do. We must come out of that and look to Jesus to become one again. Being one as a Methodist or Baptist or Catholic is not what this is about. The remnant will be like this, something new but the same as the early church. Galatians 3:26 “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” We must turn away from the man made church and see once again the wonders. You will also stop focusing on stats as David learned the hard way when he counted his army. This isn’t about who does church the best even though it appears that way, this is about who follows the head of the church who is Jesus not Billy Graham, Rick Warren or Joel Olsten. If we are to be made new, then we need to be a new creation. That can only happen in the power of the true Holy Spirit. Again there will be power not just stats on church attendance and people getting wet but demons cast out healings and salvation and the powerful infilling of the Holy Spirit. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” Remember Jesus came to make something new. He also came to unify us as one body so that we will go out as one preaching the same gospel to the world. It won’t matter where you are or who you talk to the power of the gospel will change the world.
In the Old Testament we see what moving as one means. In Judges we see a horrible abomination in the land. Judges 20:1 [ The Israelites Punish the Benjamites ] “Then all Israel from Dan to Beersheba and from the land of Gilead came together as one and assembled before the Lord in Mizpah. 8 “All the men rose up together as one, saying, “None of us will go home. No, not one of us will return to his house. 11 So all the Israelites got together and united as one against the city.” This was because of the great sin committed. We also saw this with Saul. 1 Samuel 11:7 “He took a pair of oxen, cut them into pieces, and sent the pieces by messengers throughout Israel, proclaiming, “This is what will be done to the oxen of anyone who does not follow Saul and Samuel.” Then the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out together as one.” Ezra 3:1 [ Rebuilding the Altar ] When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns, the people assembled together as one in Jerusalem.” Nehemiah 8:1 “all the people came together as one in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the teacher of the Law to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel.” We must return to ones but that will only happen if we repent of our wicked ways.
Genesis 42:13 “But they replied, “Your servants were twelve brothers, the sons of one man, who lives in the land of Canaan. The youngest is now with our father, and one is no more.” I like how the genealogy of Jesus starts in Matthew. Matthew 1:1 [ The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah ] This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:” Jesus said to Zacchaeus, Luke 19:9 “Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Jesus came to save us but he and no one else must save us. There is no other way. We can’t cut it out like Jefferson or change it like Darby just to name a few, we must follow God’s word wholeheartedly. Jesus is the head of the church, so lets get back to doing what he says and not what men and demons say. The bible does not say wonders have stopped only man says that which comes from demons. Scripture is clear that Ephesians 1:22 “God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.”
We read earlier about the body of Christ. This body is to build up the church. The only way to move as one is to follow God’s plan Ephesians 4:11 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” As I have said many times before; can you imagine the church operating with the gifts of the Spirit in full affect?
Notice what happens when we are built up. We are no longer blown here and there by deceitful scheming. Everything changes when we obey God’s word once again and the family rules become the bible once again. I know people will say we won’t be able to operate but that is exactly the point. You will not be operating in mans strength but by the Spirit but now operating in our own strength is all we know. Look at the difference here. Acts 13:2 “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Romans 1:1 “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3 regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, 4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. 6 And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.” Paul describes this when he says 13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being.” Paul said about the Thessalonians 1 Thessalonians 1:5 “our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.”
So everything changes with the presence of the Holy Spirit. God moves in power and people are healed and freed from captivity. Oddly the church will look exactly like he said it would. Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” The Jesus sent out others to do the same. Luke 9:1 “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”
This is not a good time to arrogant and think, “ha” we are special because God has revealed this to us. In Deuteronomy we are told Deuteronomy 9:1 “Hear, Israel: You are now about to cross the Jordan to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you, with large cities that have walls up to the sky. 4 After the Lord your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, “The Lord has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.” No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is going to drive them out before you. 5 It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the Lord your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 6 Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people.”
So that keeps us grounded but then Paul has a few words to say also. Romans 12:3 “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” You see this body is not some disjointed Picasso but Ephesians 4:15 “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
No that is not about denominations who go their own way and who add and subtract to God’s word and who cut out what they don't’ like and what doesn’t agree with heir teaching. That is not the body of Christ. That is not oneness. The only way “as one” will happen is if we return as one and repent. This will be the remnant. In Nehemiah they gathered as one and listened to the word of the Lord, then they gathered again and repented before the Lord. Nehemiah 9:29 “You warned them in order to turn them back to your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed your commands. They sinned against your ordinances, of which you said, ‘The person who obeys them will live by them.’ Stubbornly they turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked and refused to listen. 30 For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you warned them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you gave them into the hands of the neighboring peoples. 31 But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God. 32 “Now therefore, our God, the great God, mighty and awesome, who keeps his covenant of love, do not let all this hardship seem trifling in your eyes—the hardship that has come on us, on our kings and leaders, on our priests and prophets, on our ancestors and all your people, from the days of the kings of Assyria until today. 33 In all that has happened to us, you have remained righteous; you have acted faithfully, while we acted wickedly. 34 Our kings, our leaders, our priests and our ancestors did not follow your law; they did not pay attention to your commands or the statutes you warned them to keep. 35 Even while they were in their kingdom, enjoying your great goodness to them in the spacious and fertile land you gave them, they did not serve you or turn from their evil ways. 36 “But see, we are slaves today, slaves in the land you gave our ancestors so they could eat its fruit and the other good things it produces. 37 Because of our sins, its abundant harvest goes to the kings you have placed over us. They rule over our bodies and our cattle as they please. We are in great distress.”
The plan for the church is to be as one with Jesus at the head. Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Colossians 1:15 “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. 21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.”
Ephesians 3:7 “I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.