For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them... We are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. (Ephesians 2:10; 4:15-16)
These works are what all who call upon the name of the Lord are engaged in doing (if they have the same Lord Paul had1), as they earnestly serve Him night and day2 where He is.3 There they are made ready for His return by doing those works. There, in the places where He has caused His name to dwell, are the only places where all who believe can be to receive eternal life — where brothers and sisters dwell together in unity — for there is where God commands the blessing of life everlasting.4
All who believe live together.5 They must live together in order to obey the Son.6 “Love one another as I have loved you” is the Lord’s commandment,7 and that love fulfills all the Law and the Prophets.8 Of course, we know love by this: He laid down His life for us, therefore we ought to lay down our lives for one another.9 So those who “believe in His name” must believe enough to love one another as He commanded.10 Only by this can anyone know and have confidence from the Holy Spirit11 that he has indeed passed out of eternal death and into eternal life,12 since he is actually laying down his life daily13 for his fellow believers.
God is love. Abiding in His love causes all who believe to live together in unity like the Father and the Son, just as the Lord prayed the night before He was crucified.14 Love and unity is the sign and the witness of the kingdom that will be seen by the eyes of all the unbelieving nations. As they observe our behavior15 in every place (locality or township), they will come to know and believe in the love God has for them, that He “so loved the world” as His own Son:
I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. (John 17:20-23)
This is His commandment:“Love one another as I have loved you.” And this commandment, as all His commandments, can only be obeyed in the Body of Messiah, where all members certainly obey the head:
... holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being nourished and knit together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God. (Colossians 2:19)
His body is where brothers and sisters live together in unity, in community. The Body of Messiah is a community. “All who believe live together.”16 That’s what love loves to do, and that is what love requires.
For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free — and have all been made to drink of one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:12-13)
All the members of His body submit to one another out of reverence for Him.17
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”18 But only there, where brothers dwell together in unity, can you obey all of His commandments.
If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. (John 12:26)
To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours. . I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. (1 Corinthians 1:2,10)
All those who have the same Lord are of one mind. They have one head, therefore they have the same understanding of the Scriptures. There are no divisions in a human body, therefore Messiah’s body is not divided either.
Knowing their thoughts, He said to them,“Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.” (Matthew 12:25)
Paul pleaded with the Corinthians because he had heard that there were actually divisions among them. How could that be possible if they had one head?
Each one of you says,“I follow Paul,” or,“I follow Apollos,” or,“I follow Cephas,” or,“I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? (1 Corinthians 1:12-13)
Denominations! (Or is it demonizations?)
In Chattanooga alone, “the buckle of the Bible belt,” there are 750 different denominations that disagree in their understanding of the Bible. Everywhere it is the same. A divided kingdom is the witness of Christianity today, and is it not laid waste as the Master said?21
Denominations represent divisions. The factious man in Titus 3:10-11 started another denomination according to his own warped understanding of the Bible. That is how all denominations were started, in contempt of the Master’s prayer in John 17:21-23.
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. (1 John 2:19)
So who are the “us” in Christendom today, when one like the man in Titus 3:10-11 leaves one denomination and starts another one? Who was the “us” he went out from? So that man goes and starts what he would regard as the true “us” and if anyone leaves his “us” he would say “they were not of us.” So it is with each of the 41,000+ denominations of Christianity today.
However, 1 John 3:14,16,23 describes who the “us” really is, and also John 17:21-23 and John 13:34-35 and Acts 2:44 and Acts 4:32-35. .
We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. . By this we know love, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. . And this is God’s commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as He has commanded us. (1 John 3:14,16,23)
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples. (John 13:34-35)
And all who believed were together and had all things in common... Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own. .There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. (Acts 2:44; 4:32,34,35)
And this gospel of the kingdom [the one that produces this effect] will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations... (Matthew 24:14)
AND THEN THE END WILL COME.