Unity – Is There No Hope?

Actually there is great hope for salvation for those who love Yahweh, and are called according to his purpose  (Rom 8:28 NRSV)  "We know that all things work together for good for those who love Yahweh, who are called according to his purpose."

The hope that is based on blind faith, without biblical support, is the hope that, in our lifetime, there will be unity of doctrine.

Seeking unity of doctrine is worthwhile, if done in a right spirit. Problems arise when we expect it or especially demand it as a basis for fellowship.

The search for truth is one of the purposes of being called out of a society that has little regard for truth. Having Yahweh's teaching on our hearts (desires/emotions) and our minds (thought/mental processes) requires that we be the opposite of liars. We are to hold fast that which is good (1Thes. 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.) and reject error, even if we do not at the time know what truth might replace it.

If truth has been discovered or revealed to a Saint, the prime directive of love demands that we attempt to share it with others. Pride and arrogance have no place in the process. Knowledge puffs up (1Cor. 8:1). Pride goeth before a fall, says the proverb. We are to care for others. We are all of the same body:

(1 Cor 12:12-25 KJV)  "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is the Messiah. {13} For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. {14} For the body is not one member, but many. {15} If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? {16} And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? {17} If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

{18} But now hath Yahweh set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. {19} And if they were all one member, where were the body? {20} But now are they many members, yet but one body. {21} And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. {22} Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: {23} And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. {24} For our comely parts have no need: but Yahweh hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: {25} That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another." (emphasis added).

There is no group or believer that knows it all Paul didn't know it all. (1 Cor 13:9-13 KJV)  "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. {10} But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. {11} When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. {12} For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. {13} And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity." (love).

Even Yahshua didn't know it all: (Mat 24:36 NRSV) "But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

We, or "our group" does not, yet our convictions are to be shared in a loving way for others to consider.

We can hope that bits and pieces of the larger picture will be accepted by more and more Saints as we grow in grace and knowledge.

(2 Pet 3:17-18 KJV)  "Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. {18} But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Master and Savior, Yahshua the Messiah. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen."

Yahweh's spirit will lead us into all sorts of truth. (John 16:13 KJV)  "Howbeit when it, the Spirit of truth, is come, it will guide you into all truth: for it shall not speak of itself; but whatsoever it shall hear, that shall it speak: and it will show you things to come."

. This verse cannot mean that we all must possess a mental database full of every possible piece of information. The only hope for the latter will be after our resurrection when we are at one with the Omniscient Creator of the Universe. Notice in 1John 2:27, that it doesn't say we can't learn from someone. This is how the Torah (teaching) has been taught, i.e., by those guided by the Ruach ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) throughout the ages.

(1 John 2:21 KJV)  "I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth."

Proverbs 16:5 tells us that Yahweh is not pleased with the proud. We, like little children, must be teachable. If we have an organizational doctrinal statement to defend, or a personal agenda of any kind, we quench Yahweh's spirit and put the "me and we" before Yahweh and our neighbor and become less able to teach others about the truths we hold dear. We then cease to be humble recipients of truth that Yahweh's spirit may be trying to teach us. (Ed. note: there is nothing wrong with having a statement of beliefs, but the wrong would be in demanding that everyone believe exactly the same thing in order to fellowship with the group). Because the fellowship of the Saints has always had problems to overcome, and evidently always will, we can not expect each believer to be at the same place doctrinally as we are. Overcoming and learning truth is a lifelong process.

So, what's the point?

The point is this: Except for some basic concepts, there should be no expectation of being able to arrive at complete agreement in doctrinal matter among those who have been called out by Yahweh, who are seeking truth, and are guided by His Spirit. This does not mean that efforts to resolve doctrinal differences should not be made. The primary goal is to serve Yahweh according to His will, not seeking aggrandizement by knowing something someone else doesn't know yet. When we are resurrected, we will all get a doctrinal straightening-out. In the meantime we search and share what we find out or have revealed to us. Even though we have no need that any man teach us, according to 1John 2:27, we can learn from others and others can learn from us. Each member of Yahweh's body is set in place by Yahweh to serve his purpose, but we are all called to love one another and respect each other. (1 Pet 3:8 NRSV)  "Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind." Being of one mind must mean being of one attitude, outlook, character, etc., rather than one understanding of information possibly distorted by transcribers and translators.

Read Ephesians 4 and note that although verse 14 says we are not to be carried about with every wind of doctrine, verse 3 calls for unity of Spirit, and verse 13 unity of Faith, while verses 4-6 do not require one understanding. We should have that as one of many goals of our walk, but realize that it is Yahweh who is in control of the process according to verses 7 and 12. The emphasis here is on humility (verse 2) and putting off old conduct (verse 22) and requiring kindness and forgiveness (verse 32). So should it be with us.

One final Scripture: (James 1:25-27 KJV)  "But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. {26} If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. {27} Pure religion and undefiled before Yahweh and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."

These verses seem to be telling us to stop wagging our tongues, haranguing each other over minor doctrinal issues, and instead, do something constructive, such as visiting orphans and widows in their afflictions, and spreading the Good News of the Kingdom to come. So, let’s get with the “program.” Hallelu YAH!

Respectfully submitted by Michael Mastropaolo ~