Questions asked during India visit
Question No. 2
How shall “unity of the faith” in Ephesians 4:13 be accomplished if we are not all to rally behind one man?
Many believers have been caught up in the delusion of mistaking unity of opinions for unity of the faith. When William Branham died many people crafted the idea that we should only say what the tapes say. Did unity come out of such endeavors? No. Today there are countless divisions among different Message groupings but who all profess to take the prophet as their absolute. We then had our beloved brother and apostle, Raymond Jackson, being used by the Lord in the teaching of the Word. With time the term “apostle” wasn’t enough; an idea of “Chief Apostle” was conceived and it was believed that for the unity of faith to materialize everyone had to believe and recognize brother Jackson as the chief. One man from Nigeria became so fanatical about this idea that he went ahead to proclaim that Jackson won’t die but would lead believers into the Rapture. Dreams and scriptures were used to justify the claim. After Jackson died no lessons were learnt, instead an unimaginable and more ridiculous thing followed – the Nigerian man proclaimed himself to be the successor of Jackson as “the Lead Apostle”. Is it possible for a man with such a record to have any followers? Well, his disciples are now getting to be everywhere you go. God forbid, but suppose anything happened to the fellow and nothing of his predictions comes to pass would there be any lessons learnt? Believe it or not, more stupid ideas will pop up having more zealous followers! How long shall it take before people learn to “not to think of men above that which is written” (1 Cor.4:6)?
So, how will the unity of faith materialize if we are not to rally behind one man, someone asked.
First it is important to know that any unity founded on grounds of rallying behind a man will surely end up in a babel of confusion. Birth of confusions which lead to various splinter groups whenever a founder figure head dies testifies to this fact. And is that not what happened one day when men said to each other,“Go to… let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth” (Gen.11:4)? The unity could not be accomplished when the language of the people got confounded. However, there is a record of a unity which God had blessed. It is found in Acts Chapter 2. The events of this passage of Scripture are opposite to what happened at the tower of Babel. In Jerusalem it is different languages that were present but which got unified, so to speak, by the outpouring of the Holy Ghost. Men who were not in the faith listened to the Words Peter proclaimed and were pricked in their hearts.
In Acts Chapter 10 we read about a Gentile who was prayerful, humble and devout. He did not know the good news of Jesus Christ, but because of his prayers and humility something wonderful was about to happen that would bring him into the faith and knowledge of the Son of God. It so happened one day that Cornelius started praying and fasting. On the other end was another man, Peter, an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. He knew nothing about Cornelius but an angel had instructed Cornelius about Peter whilst he prayed. He sent for men to call him. As the men went on their way Peter had gone up on the housetop to pray and there he saw a vision. It is important to notice here how both Peter and Cornelius were caught up in the same spirit and vision. When the men of Cornelius arrived to get Peter God had already done the work! Peter went to the house of Cornelius, preached the Word and the gentiles came into the one faith of Jesus Christ as they received the Holy Spirit baptism! Dear friend, this was the working of the Spirit to bring together men who were once apart both in distance, race, spirit, and faith!
The unity of the faith materializes when the flesh of man gets out of the way; when men and women yield their minds and hearts to the Holy Spirit; when men die to the flesh and their carnal will of the mind to look up to to the Lord Jesus. True ministers of Christ – apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers – do not lead people to glorifying a man. They proclaim the Word of God and guide the flock to grow in the knowledge of Christ. Ministers who truly believed the Message of the prophet sent to this age will preach the Word with the same attitude of William Branham, and this was Branham’s attitude for which many seriously fall short of:
“Not for one moment do I bring a message to the people that they may follow me, or join my church, or start some fellowship and organization. I have never done that and will not do that now. I have no interest in those things, but I do have an interest in the things of God and people, and if I can accomplish just one thing I will be satisfied. That one thing is to see established a true spiritual relationship between God and men, wherein men become new creations in Christ, filled with His Spirit and live according to His Word. I would invite, plead and warn all to hear His voice at this time, and yield your lives completely to Him, even as I trust in my heart that I have given my all to Him. God bless you, and may His coming rejoice your heart” (Exposition of the Seven Church Ages).
Now it is important to know that the knowledge that God gives through His ministry – whether it be an exhortation or revelation of a mystery – is never for the purpose of merely letting us know something we didn’t know. Neither is it for the turning of our ‘heads’ so that we can exclaim, “Oh, I didn’t know that!” and perhaps boast to a denominational Christian saying, “Hey, The Holy Trinity is a false doctrine, and do you know the mystery of the Seven Seals?” God’s Word is a life-transforming power. When He gave the revelation of the Seals for example, it was to show us how the spirit of pride and error entered the early church and with time got formalized until Christendom became so empty of the true counsel of God. Such a revelation ought to inspire the heart of a believer and turn them from their carnal passions and begin abiding and bearing forth fruit of the will of God in their lives. Isn’t that what ‘Elijah’ was sent for – “he shall turn the heart of …the children to their fathers” (Mal.4:6).
“There is one body, and one Spirit” Paul wrote, “One faith…And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints…Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ“. The “perfect man” shall never come about by merely trying to agree on a list of doctrines, and neither will it come by completing an alleged syllabus or curriculum of mysteries; the perfect man shall manifest when you continuously die to your flesh and allow Christ to fill your heart, leading you in your daily life. What translated Enoch was his close walk with God. When we walk closely with Him we shall grow in our knowledge of Him as our eyes get opened to mysteries of His Word.