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October 19, 2021

Understanding and Perfecting the Unity of the Saints

By Anthony Wade

Dr, Michael Brown divides the body of Christ and then wonders why we are divided...


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And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. - Ephesians 4:11-16 (ESV)

Should We Cut These Verses About Unity Out of Our Bible? Charisma News

Perhaps no greater subject has been abused and misunderstood more than unity within the church. That is because of two great divisive facts regarding unity. The first is that unity is wielded by false teachers as a way to cut off correct criticism of their false teaching. The second is that far too many people have an incorrect understanding of what we are supposed to be unified in. Unity for the sake of unity is what will lead us to the one world religion. The primary reason why the world hates Christ and thus Christians, is the exclusivity of Christianity. NONE come to the Father except through me. For a world steeped in sin, it is far easier on the conscience to believe there are multiple roads that lead to the same God everyone serves. The modern church feeds into this because it strives to be liked by the world. It seeks to be relevant to the world. Any purpose driven, seeker-friendly pastor will always admit to such because that is how they have been taught by the Rick Warrens of the world who sacrificed doctrine a long time ago upon the altar of carnal growth. I say this as the backdrop to the latest offering from Dr. Michael Brown, linked above, which posits the question whether we should cut out of the bible the verses about unity. At best this title is clickbait because the question is silly and even Brown knows it. He is using the question to open a dialogue without seeing how he himself has contributed to the disunity he seems so dismayed by. So let us reason once more together and truly understand what godly unity is so we can tell it apart from the carnal unity sold by the apostate church.

"If there is one thing that seems spiritually certain it is that the church will always be divided. Our factions and differences and divisions seem as fixed as the rising of the sun. Yet the Bible speaks of a day when we will all come together in the unity of the faith. How can this possibly be true? To be clear, when I speak of "the church" I'm not speaking of all who profess to be followers of Jesus. I'm speaking of those who are genuine believers, those whom God considers to be His sons and daughters, those who have been truly redeemed. But the truth be told, even in our local assemblies there is often massive disunity, let alone in the various assemblies within our community, let alone in our city or state or country, let alone the whole world. How can there possibly be even a semblance of unity? It really does seem impossible and far-fetched." - Dr. Michael Brown

Here is today's deep theology - the church is not divided. The real church that is. The real church that is unified not in any carnality of this world but rather bonded by the word of God, sealed by the Holy Spirit. The fixed divisions Brown speaks of are within the apostate church, which Brown serves. Now that may seem harsh but remember that there is no fellowship of light with darkness. Dr. Michael Brown is on record how much he loves Bill Johnson, one of the world's greatest heretics. Brown has taught at Johnson's heretical school of the supernatural, where they try to teach the gifts of the Holy Spirit to people. Brown has defended Benny Hinn as a good brother in Christ. He has literally defended Jennifer LeClaire's "sneaky squid spirit." He is a contributing writer to Charisma News, a virtual cesspool of false teaching and dominionist propaganda.

Perhaps there is no more egregious contributor to the division Brown speaks of than the very dominionism he supports. Sure, Dr. Brown likes to put out the occasional article criticizing politics in Christianity but he has been at the forefront of mixing the two through his obvious water-carrying for the former president. When your opening position eliminates half the population, it is hard to then come crying about division. While Brown is always craftier than most he still stands side by side with those who are not. Mario Murillo, who I am sure Brown considers a good brother in the Lord, recently wrote that anyone who voted for Joe Biden was going to hell unless they repented. Gee, I can't understand why our differences seem as fixed as the rising of the sun!

"Yet Paul himself wrote these words: "So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 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" (Ephesians 4:11-13, my emphasis). Yes, this is something that is supposed to happen in this world, before the Lord returns, as opposed to something that will happen after He returns, when we will have shed our fallen humanity. As Paul continued, "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. 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. 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" (Ephesians 4:14-16)." - Dr. Michael Brown

It is so sad to watch people who are compromised cite verses that could set them free if they just put aside their pre-formed bias. Removing Brown's emphasis and including the entire context, the key verses today teach us all we need to know about true unity. Christian unity is not based upon political agreement. It is not based upon cult of personality pastorships. It is solely based upon two things. The first is faith. We must believe in the same thing. The second facet is our unity must be in knowledge of the Son of God. There is another word for this - doctrine. Without unity of doctrine, individual people can make it up as they go along with whatever their flesh desires. If Bethel Church believed in unity of doctrine they would know they have to shut their fake school of the supernatural because the bible says only the Holy Spirit decides who gets what gifts. IHOP would have to give up its practices of eastern mysticism and the bridal paradigm because they are not biblical. Churches across this land would have to stop worshiping one political party and pretending God has anything to do with it. Christian maturity is based upon our developing unity of faith and doctrine. We cannot attain the whole measure of the fullness of Christ without it. Just in case people like Bill Johnson want to continue to downplay doctrine, God continues in the key verses to make this point abundantly clear. Why is it of dire importance that we attain Christian maturity? So that we are not tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. Rather, we are to speak what with love? The truth. His word is the truth! You want to see true unity? Find the remnant of believers who insist upon sound doctrine.

"Paul wrote these words as if this was an attainable goal, something that we should work towards. Yet how many of us even give this much thought, let alone believe for it to happen, let alone do our best to make it happen? To be sure, Paul is not speaking of some kind of sloppy, compromised, watered-down, ecumenism. Not is he speaking of putting on a veneer of unity for ulterior purposes, like a religious coalition with the goal of sharing power. To the contrary, it is an integral unity, a transcendent unity, a unity that comes about as a result of our unity with the Lord, even in the midst of our diversity and human differences. As Jesus Himself prayed, "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are oneI in them and You in Meso that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me." (John 17:20-23) - Dr. Michael Brown

Unity is an attainable goal. It is one that is perfected moment to moment when people come to understand correct doctrine. For every person that comes out from the darkness of Bethel, IHOP, Hillsong, Lakewood or any number of false churches preaching false gospels, that unity is perfected further. Do not think for a second that myself or anyone is exempt. I once read the Purpose Driven Life with my church and thought it made sense. I once thought the abuse of the gifts of the spirit were common order. Then you start reading the word for yourself and the Holy Spirit starts leading you into all truths; even those that make your personal experiences heretical. Every time you side with the what the bible says over your personal experience the unity of the saints is further perfected. Never lose sight of the opposite truths as well. Every person that chooses Bethel, IHOP, Hillsong or Lakewood over correct doctrine will be another person standing before the Lord in Matthew 7 exclaiming, "Lord Lord" only to discover He never knew them. False doctrine not only kills but it kills eternally.

"Will God answer this prayer? And was this merely the Lord's human desire, or did it reflect the very will of His Father? Surely this prayer reflects the heart of our heavenly Father. Surely He, too, longs to see us united in His Son. And take careful note of what will happen when we come into this glorious unity: "Then," Jesus said, "the world will know that you sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me." Talk about shaking the world! Looking at this through human eyes, it really does seem impossible, like some kind of spiritual pipe dream. Yet the Lord prayed for it and Paul wrote about it, both of them with certainty and expectation. Unfortunately, our deep lack of unity, our constant fleshly bickering, our sense of competition more than comradery, and our extreme judgmentalism (as opposed to healthy discernment), gives ample testimony to just how far off the mark we really are." - Dr. Michael Brown

This is typical of Brown and false doctrine defenders alike - blame those who correct doctrine as being judgmental. Paint them as the problem as opposed to the false doctrine. The truth of the matter is Dr. Michael Brown has never met a heretic he could not defend. Remember this is the same guy who appeared on the Benny Hinn show for a week and calls Bill Johnson and Joseph Prince good brothers in the Lord. Prince is the more interesting one because Brown once wrote a book against the false teaching of antinomianism, more commonly referred to as greasy grace. The learned theologian that Brown is, I am sure the book is correct in its critique. The problem is that Joseph Prince is the undisputed king of antinomianism, yet Brown gives him a total pass. Being correct on doctrine is important but so is calling out the ones teaching the false doctrine. Unity is only a pipe dream as long as Christian leaders pretend that Jennifer LeClaire is a prophetess! Unity is only a pipe dream as long as Christian leaders continue to worship carnal politicians as they idolize their slice of this fallen world.

"That's one reason we need to experience corporate revival in a massive, life-changing way. During times of genuine renewal, there is also a great outpouring of love (even in the midst of controversy and misunderstanding). As one old saying goes, when the waters rise, you don't see the fences anymore. That's one reason why revival remains a deep, burning cry of my heart, and one reason why I wrote my latest book Revival Or We Die: A Great Awakening Is Our Only Hope. Revival brings us into a fresh encounter with Jesus the Lord which, in turn, brings us into a greater love for one another. Persecution can also unite believers, as followers of Jesus find themselves sharing prison cells with other believers from other denominations and expressions, only to realize they are one in the Lord. We may experience more of this in the days ahead.

And always, even without revival or persecution, based on the principles laid out by Paul, above, we can take steps every day of our lives to walk in love towards our brothers and sisters, doing our best to build up rather than simply tear down. There's even a way to correct error that has the goal of unifying around truth rather than dividing around personalities and doctrines. May we learn to step higher here too. Decades ago, I heard about how a little girl learned to apply the biblical call to "love one another." She looked at her friend and said, "I'm one, and you're another." This sounds like a good place to start." - Dr. Michael Brown

I have scoured the bible repeatedly and have yet to find a case where a wolf repents. Not one. Wolves do not become sheep. When Paul names names, he tells believers to not associate with people who have left the faith. The biggest problem Michael Brown continues to have is that he considers anyone who can spell "Jesus" correctly to be his brother or sister. Thus, he is always building up false teachers. He is always defending them. He is always unifying with them and teaching others to do the same. He has decided that the greatest enemy to the revival he so desires, as the rest of the NAR does, are the people insisting on what sayeth the Lord. You see, the closing anecdote about the little girl and her friend is cute but it is only sustaining because the principles are children. Once the little girl discovers that her friend doesn't believe in sneaky squid spirits then the Kumbaya moment will have passed. Or if she discovers that her friend does not believe in teaching the gifts of the spirt. Or that she votes Democrat. Whatever carnal reason Michael Brown continues to use remember that true unity is found only in what we believe and sound doctrine. That unity is perfected moment to moment as the truth of God's word shines the light of Christ into the darkness of this world and the false teachings of the apostate church.

Reverend Anthony Wade - October 19, 2021

Authors Bio:
Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.