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Why are there so many divisions and denominations among Christians?

If all denominations of Christ’s Church are the ‘Body of Christ’, then why are there so many different interpretations of God’s Word? Why is it each person has a different interpretation of the Scriptures now days, much like playing a game of trivia to see who can yet come up with a new ‘angle’ on God’s Word. Many seem to think that when they are baptized into Christ that they immediately become sacred scholars of The Word, and whatever the interpretation they roll around like a marble in their mind and comes out, ‘ping’, must be the right one, all without verifying it through the Scriptures by study and prayer to God for guidance. Are many teachers that claim to be teaching God’s Word responsible for this state of mind? I think so. Can I honestly say that? Again, yes. Why? So many people are confused today about The Word because mainly, they rely on someone else to do their studying for them. They can’t believe that they could ever be taught a false doctrine from some preacher in a Church. It’s like they think there is some sacred ‘threshold’ at the entrance way of that Church building that once crossed, all deception and false doctrine is left at the door. It may not enter in, for God would not allow it. Does God’s Word give examples of false doctrines, and even ‘evil spirits’ existing in the Church? You bet! Read and heed:

Mark 1:23   And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
24    Saying, “Let us alone; what have we to do with Thee, Thou Jesus of Nazareth? art Thou come to destroy us? I know Thee Who Thou art, the Holy One of God.”

Whoa…what’s this ‘unclean spirit’ doing here in the ‘synagogue’, which is God’s Temple. Not only was this ‘unclean spirit’ right there in God’s House, but no one else even knew it, until Jesus walked in, and then that evil spirit spoke right up, revealing itself.
Just to make sure that you don’t get the wrong impression that this event only took place while Jesus was on earth, and that it only could happen in a Jewish synagogue as some false ones teach, is there an example of evil abominations in another Church? Yes!:

Rev 2:12   And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; ‘These things saith He Which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

     This message is direct from Jesus to the Church at Pergamos, which was a main city of Mysia at the Caicus River in northwest Asia Minor, which is modern Turkey today.

Rev.2:13    I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast My name, and hast not denied My faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

     This reference by Christ that they dwelled where Satan’s seat is, refers to the temple of Athena and the temple of Zeus that was also there in Pergamos. Pagan idolatry right around God’s Church. The Christians there had to be strong to prevent false doctrines from creeping in. Jesus is here recognizing their ‘faith’ in Him, and that they were also teaching in His Name, so not all the members were guilty of the next verses.

Rev.2:14    But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

     Doctrines of idol worship,’Balaam’ right IN the Church, that is the message here by our Lord and Savior dealing with this Church at Pergamos. Well what’s this ‘Balaam’ anyway? Balaam was a diviner from Moab that Balak the king of Moab hired to curse the Israelites. It backfired though (see Numbers 22). God controlled Balaam’s prophetic utterances, and only good things came out of his mouth towards Israel, instead of cursings that Balak wanted.
However, when the Israelites camped in Moab before continuing over the Jordon river, Moabite women enticed the sons of Israel into a ritual sexual form of idolatry, which God then punished them for by causing a ‘plague’ within Israel’s congregation (Num. 25). Here’s what The LORD told Moses to do to those of direct guilt for punishment:

Num 25:4    And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.
5    And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.

     Maybe some think this was a little thing that some within the congregation of Pergamos were doing. Just a little ‘ju-ju’ bead here or there (Quija board maybe?), and a little slip of fornication by a few brothers and sisters. Not hardly, for this guilt of Pergamos was a ‘ritual sexual idolistic’ form of whore-ship as part of a ceremonial prayer to false gods. How many of God’s Commandments were broken here?
I’ll bet many would say this isn’t going on today in many of God’s Churches. “Well, it just couldn’t, that’s all, it just couldn’t.” Wrong! It could and can. Want examples? Can you say that no one in your Church has never or is not possibly now committing fornication out of wedlock? Let’s see, what’s the average age down to now for teenage sex out of wedlock? Got any teenagers or even adults in the congregation playing computer or board games at home dealing with Satanic themes? What about music dealing with Satanic themes? Any there in the Church that might be taking part in secret lodge rituals and initiation ceremonies with Satanic paraphernalia and symbology? Are there some teens in your Church that may be involved in some gang, or similar club? You really don’t know for sure, do you? But in today’s world, one can definitely suspect so, because we are being bombarded with ‘psychic’ networks, satanic Hollywood movies, even on the TV. Where did the word Easter really come from, and is your Church representing Easter for Christ’s time of resurrection, or properly as Passover which is the Greek word ‘pascha‘ in Acts 12:4 which was falsely translated Easter? In other words, today we are really living amongst false temples around our Churches, such as the ones that were surrounding the Church at Pergamos. For these abominations being followed many in the congregation are sick and suffer from bad health.
I really sympathize with the good leaders of many of today’s Churches. It’s difficult enough to maintain the re-occurring job of correcting our children away from such things, especially since most of their school friends are doing and getting away with many of the above abominations. And many of these despicable things are taught to the public as being harmless, so naturally those children not disciplined in God’s Word want to follow the popularity acts of the day. This makes the job of correcting the adult members within the congregation away from these abominations even the more laborious. On top of that, add the pressures of political control that can exist within a Church organization or system. It’s one thing to teach the congregation against these things, but another to actually commit to disciplining the members found guilty and removing those evils from amongst the Body of Christ. However, doing just that, purging the evil away from you if a member refuses to repent in trying to turn away from those things is God’s requirement. It was this message that Jesus gave that “…if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”(Matthew 5:29). This ‘body’ Jesus was referring to here is the ‘Body of Christ’, not the flesh body. The sad part to all this is that since many congregations don’t regard Old Testament Law as being in effect anymore, they continue to allow these abominations to continue within the ‘many membered Body of Christ.’ Instead they use their own moral judgement for handing out discipline, replacing God’s Law handed down to His People through Moses. (The ‘ordinances’ dealing with animal sacrifice, i.e., blood ordinances, are the only part of God’s Law that Jesus fulfilled on the cross which were transferred to the spiritual sacrifice that Christ’s death represents [see Ephesians 2:15; Hebrews 9] . The remaining Law, Commandments, Judgements, and Statutes still stand.)
Don’t get me wrong with this message. We are not to go on a rampage against everyone we may think that is doing something wrong. No dark age stuff, please. But if you know someone within your Church who is purposefully trying to corrupt the youth, and teach things contrary to Scripture for the purpose of breaking the congregation apart, then you should pass out discipline according to God’s Word, not your own. This also means understanding God’s Message about false teachers. A good speaker that is talented with carrying on stories of the world and never getting around to teaching God’s Word is one example, and probably one of the most common in many Churches today. If you’ve been a baptized Christian for thirty years in that same Church and you don’t know any more about The Word than Salvation and baptism, because that’s all that is taught, then there’s the ‘rub’. It doesn’t take much time out of the service to teach a short message of salvation to the non-believer. If God’s Message given to us from His Word is taught, especially Chapter by Chapter and verse by verse, which His Word is the Power to save, not us, then that non-believer won’t need much teaching on how to get baptized; they’ll know and do it once the process is barely mentioned to them. We already have plenty of ‘milk’ Churches to bring the majority of non-believers to Christ, but we need more ‘meat’ of God’s Word Churches to make ‘disciples’ of Christ.
Jesus’ message to the Church at Pergamos continues:

Rev.2:15    So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
16    Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.

     I haven’t found much on this doctrine of ‘Nicolaitans’ and no credible source, nevertheless, Jesus said He didn’t like it. We can speculate what this act was, but it would be unprofitable. I can offer this much, and you can do some research for yourself. The word ‘Nicolaitans‘ is from the Greek ‘Nikos‘ which means ‘to conquer‘, and ‘Laodikeus‘ a Greek word which means an inhabitant of Laodicia. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon refers to the person Nikolaos meaning ‘victor of the people’, and also who was a proselyte at Antioch and one of seven deacons of the congregation at Jerusalem.(Strong’s no. 3532). This may refer to an ecclesiatic authority set up over the Church that was causing a ‘system’ of control over several Churches. In my opinion, this doctrine represents any organized control over which particular creeds, doctrines, and teachings are taught, as governed by a ‘head’ organization in control outside of the Church, which takes away from Jesus Christ being the True and Only Head of the Church.
Jesus is telling those guilty of these abominations to ‘repent’, which means to make a change, or He would bring the ‘Sword’ of His Spirit upon them.

How about the existence of ‘false apostles’ teaching in the Church?

Rev 2:1   Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; ‘These things saith He That holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, Who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
2    I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

In the Church at Ephesus here, there were false ‘apostles’ within the Body. An ‘apostle’ is a ‘sent one’ from God, a leader, a teacher, maintainer of The Law among God’s People. The fact that ‘liars’ is attached to this means they were presenting ‘false doctrines’. The words ‘hast tried them’ means the congregation verified what they were being taught and found these false apostles to be liars. Paul gives us another reference in 2 Cor.11 about how false teachers can exist in the Church:

2 Cor 11:3    But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
4    For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

This is a very important message by Paul, and for us today in these times. Paul is giving us a ‘particular’ false doctrine to watch out for in these two verses. It is the false doctrine of ‘another Jesus‘. “Well, I thought there was only one Jesus?” That’s the ‘key’! There truly is only one ‘authentic’ Jesus. So who is this ‘another Jesus’? It is Satan himself, setting himself up in God’s Temple in Jerusalem, proclaiming to be God (Jesus Christ, Immanuel). You’ll find this taught very clearly even by Christ Himself in Matt.24; Mark 13; and Luke 21, giving the Apostles there the seven ‘signs’ of the endtime or ‘seven seals’ of Revelation, and that “…if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:” Mark 13:21. I didn’t take that verse out of context. The subject there is the events leading up to the second return of Jesus Christ. This was a private teaching given to the Apostles then with Christ, and for the Apostles living today. Not everyone will understand. Search the following to get up to speed on Satan playing the role of Christ, on earth, in the near future (Ezekiel 28; 2 Thess.2; Isaiah 14; Revelation 12 & 13). It is also important to recognize in Mark 13:24 that Jesus is telling us His return won’t be until ‘after that tribulation’, the tribulation referred to in verses 19-20 of that same Chapter, the ‘great tribulation’ of Satan that has everyone so stirred up these days. In essence, this doctrine of a ‘false Messiah’, which is Satan playing the role of Messiah, before the second coming of Christ, is included within Paul’s message of ‘another Jesus’ in 2 Cor.11.
So those who are sitting on Church pews, listening and engulfing doctrines from every little old preacher that claims to be teaching God’s Word, and not ‘trying’ that teacher against God’s Word, well, I guess, ‘ignorance is bliss’. We are all sinners in the flesh, including myself. I’m not putting myself above anyone. If this message is too harsh for your ears, then ‘click’, and I’m outta here. It’s up to each individual to search The Word of God’s Truth. These things are harsh for many because they only want to hear ‘smooth things’ in their ears. This way they can go home after Church service with that feel good emotion, and continue their ‘rat-killin’, and think that’s all they have to do to be in line with God’s Word. Am I saying that we should not feel joy being in Christ, no, heaven forbid. But I don’t have to worry about teaching ‘sweet smooth things’, and I’m not going to, because you’ll find plenty of milk candy-coated messages elsewhere. If you don’t have enough emotional discipline about you to take criticism when God needfully dishes it out, then you will have shut seventy-five percent of His Word out of your life, and would then deserve His punishment.That’s why it’s important to study His Word, and not the many false creeds and traditions carried on within many Church systems.

     God bless His True Churches, the Body of Christ, and all those of the many membered Body searching for the True Church.
Dave Ramey.

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